Healthcare services at Balasore hospital in jeopardy due to nurse strike

Balasore: Healthcare services were severely affected at the Balasore district headquarters hospital for around six hours yesterday after all the staff nurses launched a cease-work strike demanding arrest of persons involved in allegedly manhandling a lady nurse on May 10.

The nurse association of the hospital sat on a dharna in front of the office of the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM on Tuesday.

Even though patients were wreathing in pain, not a single staff nurse at the hospital paid any heed. Following this, relatives of some patients were seen shifting them to private hospitals to continue treatment.

“Doctors and nurses were not available at the hospital despite waiting for over three hours. We will have to visit private hospital now for treatment of our patient,” said Jeevan Kumar Mallick, relative of a patient.

Expressing her anguish, relative of another patient, Manorama Swain said, “After admitting to the hospital, no medical staff has turned up to attend the patient. We are worried as to how treatment will be carried out. When the government is providing all healthcare facilities for free, doctors and nurses are demanding money from patients which is not correct.”

Later in the day following an intervention by Balasore Collector Ramesh Chandra Rout who held talks with the CDMO and hospital Superintendent, staff nurses relented and joined back duty.

“The nurse association demanded arrest of the accused involved in the assault on one of the nurses. Steps have been taken and notice will be served to the persons involved. If they do not depose for questioning, action will be taken as per law,” said Ramesh Chandra Rout, Balasore Collector.

On the other hand, Balasore CDMO Ranjan Kumar Padhee refused to comment on the allegations that a staff nurse demanded money from patients citing that police is investigating the matter.

Earlier on May 10, the staff nurses had observed cease-work for four hours paralysing the healthcare services at the hospital.

Though resentment has been brewing among the nurses, the relatives on the other hand alleged that the staff nurse demanded Rs 1,000 to attend her delivery. When the relatives paid Rs 300, the staff nurse physically assaulted her. Later the patient’s attendant along with other relatives manhandled the staff nurse. Since then the staff nurse have been demanding the arrest of the relatives of the patient.