Staff nurses in Salem protest, demand filling of vacancies at hospital

The nurses said there had been staff shortages even before the pandemic, and now, in addition to the extra workload, they had unsatisfactory food and accommodation

Urging the State government to fill in the vacancies in the posts of staff nurses and solve their problems over food and accommodation, over 50 nurses at the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College and Hospital, Salem, staged a two-hour flash protest at the hospital premises on Wednesday.

The protesting staff said that shortage of nurses had prevailed even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and their workload increased during the past six months leading to depression among many, and nurses falling sick. “We are only 350 nurses here and are working without any break,” one of them said and added that when the issue was taken up with the hospital administration, they were convinced to work.

The nurses said they have been accommodated in hotels during the pandemic and they are not satisfied with the quality of food and accommodation provided. “Without no proper arrangement of food and accommodation, we feel tortured,” another nurse added.

The nurses said they were depressed now and their efforts to get their problems redressed had failed. “We are not saying we will not work, but we need proper food and accommodation and also a reduction in our work burden,” a nurse said.

Hospital Dean R. Balaji Nathan held talks with the protesters and assured them that their problems would be solved, after which the protest was withdrawn.

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