The statewide indefinite strike launched by the All Assam Nurses’ Association (AANA) entered the third day on Wednesday which has paralysed the normal functioning of medical college hospitals across Assam.
Surgeries of serious patients have also been affected in AMCH and rescheduled due to the protest which forced the hospital management to engage BSc nursing students from other private hospitals.
Several nurses were detained in different districts of Assam. In Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), a massive protest was held which led to a scuffle between the nurses and police personnel. The protesters raised slogans against AMCH principal Hiranya Kumar Goswami like ‘Go back’.
The Circle Officer of Dibrugarh East Revenue Circle, Nandita Barua, rushed to the spot and took stock of the situation to prevent the agitating nurses from entering the departments. This led to an altercation between the protesters and the circle officer.
Altogether 285 general nursing midwifery (GNM) staff members staged the protest at AMCH which affected the normal surgeries at the hospital.
This forced the hospital management to engage BSc nursing students from outside, angered the nurses who later tried to oust them. Police was called to prevent them from entering in the maternity ward at AMCH.
“We have been neglected since several years. We have been working day and night at the hospital and taking care of the patients but the Government has not prioritized our issues. We have been demanding the revival of the designation of the staff nurse, implementation of ‘same post, same salary’ and publishing of service rule of the staff nurse,” said Manumita Dutta, sister-in-charge at AMCH.
She said that from the beginning their designation has been GNM staff nurse but suddenly the Government withdrew their designation and changed it as GNM nurse which had created a strong resentment among the GNM staff nurses.
AMCH principal Hiranya Kumar Goswami said that they cannot let the patients suffer because of the strike and hence they are taking the help of BSc nursing students.
“We support them but we cannot let the emergency services to be hampered and hence we are engaging BSc nursing students and for that, we have taken the help of the district administration,” said Goswami.
“The strike has affected the functioning of the hospital and patients whose surgeries have to be carried out on Friday but due to some reasons the surgeries were postponed but now the patients are shifted to private nursing homes due to the strike,” said sister-in-charge Renubala Gogoi of AMCH.
According to the Association, the current salary structure at Rs 8,700 has been proposed for BSc nursing degree holders, while Rs 6,800 has been fixed as the salary of the ordinary GNM staff nurse. “It’s discrimination against us,” Gogoi said, and questioned, “Why has the Government withdrawn the post of our GNM staff nurse and changed it to GNM nurse?”
Junu Chutia Dihingia, general secretary of AANA said that they would continue the strike as the Government has not shown any interest towards their issues.