Pune: City-based Sassoon General Hospital (SGH) will be affected by a second strike from June 18. After around 200 intern doctors from the SGH joined a state-wide strike from June 13, which is still ongoing, around 450 nurses from the hospital will now be going on strike from June 18 against the transfer of 10 nurses.
Nurses at SGH announced the strike on Sunday. Anuradha Athavale, President of Maharashtra Government Nurses Federation, said that only nurses from SGH were transferred from among the 14 medical colleges in the State.
“Nurses are being transferred to far off cities like Kolhapur, Sangli and others. We are protesting against these transfers and want them to be withdrawn. The strike will start from Monday and we have planned not to resume work till our demands are met. The duration of the strike will depend on the discussions we have with concerned authorities on Monday,” said Athavle.
On Monday, 400 to 450 nurses from SGH are expected to go on strike. Even though emergency services are not likely to be affected, all other services at the hospital will be affected due to the strike. This would cause inconvenience to patients.
Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Dean of SGH said that as government employees the nurses cannot go on strike. “Though there is an indication, we have asked the nurses to not go on strike. The rest will be looked at after July 18,” he said.
Medical interns from government medical colleges across the State went on a strike on the issue of no stipend hike. The interns in Maharashtra receive Rs 6,000 as stipend for a year long medical internship. There has been no stipend hike for the past four years despite continuous follow ups by the Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI).
Athavle also alleged that these 10 nurses were transferred because they are from the Federation. “Two or three nurses out of these 10 are going to retire very soon. These nurses, as per the labour law, should not be transferred. But these transfers hint that the Federation nurses are being targeted,” said Athavle.
She added that that these 10 nurses were abruptly relieved from their duty. “They were not even given time to hand over their duty to another person. Nurses handle crucial things in a ward. If something happens, then who is responsible,” questioned Athavle.