SRINAGAR: On International Nurses Day, Kashmir Nurses Association staged a protest demonstration against ‘official negligence’ in fulfilling their demands.
The representatives of the Association said that the day was celebrated every year but today it was marked as Black Day to protest against the ‘injustices’.
Parveen Khan, President of the Association said, “For the past 30 years, we have been putting our demands in front of the authorities but every time we are ignored.”
Syed Ruksana Bukhari, spokesperson of the Association said, “We are the most forgotten lot of the noble profession. Last year, on Nurses Day Minister of State for Health, Asiea Naqash promised to fulfill our demands but neither did she fulfill any demands nor did she visit us ever.”
As per Indian Nursing Council (INC) norms, the nurse-patient ratio should be 1:3 for medical colleges and 1:5 for district hospitals. “Instead, a nurse attends 60, 70 and even 100 patients. The health of patients gets compromised with dearth of staff” said Parveen.
Seerat, a nurse said, “We too are humans and work tirelessly but get nothing good in return.” “We are at the forefront for patients’ service. We are as important as doctors but we don’t get the same respect and status that doctors get,” she rued.
The members of the association said that despite adding beds and buildings in hospitals, no new posts have been created for nurses.
According to INC norms, a nurse should get 1st promotion after 7 years of her service. Then the 2nd promotion should be given after 5 years. “A nurse after doing service for 30-40 years retires on same post,” said Ruksana.
Nurses also complained about the pay disparity. “An ECG technician who undergoes training for months earns more than a nurse who gets training for four years,” Shagufta, another nurse said.
Nurses said that they are not even getting the basic facilities of rest room and separate wash rooms.
According to members of the Association, nurses of SMHS, Super Specialty Hospital, Psychiatric hospital, Lal Ded hospital, Chest Disease Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital, Children hospital are going through same fate whereas nurses from SKIMS and other states of India are getting every facility.
“We are demanding the basic things which will improve the health sector. If our demands are not fulfilled, we will protest on streets,” said Parveen.
The Association demanded technical grade to nurses, creation of more posts, time-bound promotion and nursing or non-practice allowances.