A day after a 22-year-old nurse working at the Asian Heart Institute Hospital at Bandra-Kurla Complex committed suicide, 280 nurses from the hospital went on a flash strike on Wednesday to protest the alleged "inhuman treatment" meted out to them by the hospital.
On Tuesday, nurse Beena Baby, ended her life in her Khar apartment. Baby's colleagues alleged she committed suicide after hospital authorities harassed her for misplacing a patient's ultrasound report. Authorities, however, denied the allegation. The hospital announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for Baby on Wednesday.
Nurses at the hospital said they were unhappy with the working conditions. Nurses claimed that the hospital asked all nurses to sign a two-year bond whereby the hospital retains their original graduation certificates. If a nurse wants to take the certificate before the two-year period ends, she has to pay Rs 50,000.
"We want the hospital to return our certificates and scrap the bond policy," said Melvin Mathew, a staff nurse.
The nurses also want the hospital to issue an experience certificate to all nurses stating their duration of work.
The nurses called off the strike at 4pm after hospital authorities assured them that they would get their certificates.
"We will give them the certificates provided they join duty. The retention of certificates is a standard practice across hospitals in India. If you train someone, you expect a commitment from them," said Dr Vijay D'Silva, medical director of the hospital. The nurses said they would collect the certificates on Thursday.
The nurses claimed nurses were fired for arbitrary reasons. Jinsu Anne Alex said she was fired last week because she forgot to seal the intra-venous fluid line after disconnecting it from a patient's hand. "I don't have the money to get my certificates."
"If a nurse is negligent, we do not tolerate that. The terminated staff will also have to pay Rs 50,000 to take the certificate as it is their training cost," said Dr D'Silva.
200 nursing students stage protest
Mumbai: Nearly 200 nursing students from JJ hospital staged a protest on Wednesday morning alleging that third-year students were failed in practical examinations by an examiner.
"An examiner is biased against us. We want the university to reassess the matter," said Ganesh Rajwade, a student.
The students have threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike from Thursday, demanding an inquiry into the matter.
Out of 53 students, 32 have failed in paediatric and psychiatric nursing. According to Dr Udaysinh Raorane, controller of examination, MUHS, only eight students failed.
The students alleged that Meena Sonawane marked them poorly as they had complained about her. Sonawane, a professor of nursing, said, "There were two examiners who gave combined marks for this exam."
Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital, said two doctors from the MUHS would look into the matter on Thursday.