With the indefinite strike declared by a section of nurses threatening to cripple the healthcare services, the District Collector has clamped prohibitory orders in Kannur. The strike call issued by Indian Nurses Association has come at a time the district is reeling under the grip of fever.
In his order, the Collector directed nursing colleges in the district to deploy second and third year students to hospitals which are presently short-staffed due to the strike from Monday. He also asked the nursing colleges to suspend classes for five days.
The district administration is planning to utilise the services of nursing students from ten colleges. These students will be deployed in government and private hospitals which are overcrowded by fever patients. The agitation has affected the functioning of major private hospitals in the district. About 1,300 nurses from nine private hospitals have been protesting for the past 19 days demanding hike in their salary.
“Most of the hospitals in the district are overcrowded with fever patients. The situation has turned worse and the hospitals are not in a position to admit patients who need proper medical care. Hence, we have decided to avail of the service of nursing students,” District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali told Express. “We have decided to deploy nursing students to tide over the crisis after holding discussions with the principals of nursing colleges,” the collector said.
The Kannur District Collector has issued an order to deploy nursing students in private hospitals to tackle the situation.
They will be provided free transportation, food and a remuneration of Rs 150 per day by the hospital management. The district police chief will ensure the safety of these students. The collector has also ordered deployment of police personnel to prevent any move to obstruct the functioning of the hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Indian Nurses Association (INA) has condemned the collector’s order and said they will question the deployment of nursing students in hospitals.
“We will challenge the decision in court. The district administration is risking the lives of patients,” said INA president Libin Thomas.
Members of the association on Sunday gathered at the Parkans Auditorium, and formed a ‘ Janakeeya Samara Samithi’ to intensify the agitation with the support of political parties who back the nurses stir.
“We discussed the Collector’s order and decided to initiate necessary steps,” said Libin Thomas.But the District Collector negated their argument. “We are not deploying these students in ICU or gynaecology department. Their services will be utilised for works they are capable of. They will be working under the supervision of senior faculty members,” he said.
However the INA said they will not call off the stir unless their demands are met. “We are holding peaceful protests. Our demands are genuine. And we will continue our protest until they are met,” said INA joint secretary Naveen Krishnan.
The government has clamped prohibitory orders to dissuade the nurses from participating in the stir. A majority of the protesters are women. We are determined and no order can stop us,” he said.
According to the authorities, the order has made it compulsory for all nursing students to attend duty. “Those students who keep away from ward duty will face disciplinary action and consequent dismissal from the course,” the order said.
“Necessary criminal action will be initiated by the “police for violating the order or obstructing the nursing students from discharging their duty,” it said
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