Nurses protest demanding shelter with hospital in Dharmapuri

Another nurse said that she has been facing stigma for working in close proximity with COVID-19 patients.

DHARMAPURI: A 39-year-old nurse from Government Dharmapuri Medical College Hospital (DMCH) died in a road accident here on Friday. The deceased Kumudha was riding pillion on a two-wheeler ridden by her colleague Balamani (46). When the duo was returning home from work on Friday evening, Balamani tried to dodge a dog near Paiyur in Krishnagiri and ended up hitting a median. While the rider escaped with injuries, Kumudha died on the spot. Kaveripattinam police registered a case and are inquiring further.

Meanwhile, more than 254 nurses of the hospital offered a silent prayer to the deceased and staged a protest on Saturday alleging that the death was caused due to the negligence of authorities. The protesters said the mishap could have been avoided had the nurses been provided accommodation within the hospital premises.

They also raised concerns over poor facilities provided to the nurses.

A senior nurse alleged that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the hostel allotted for nurses was converted into an isolation ward for COVID-19 patients forcing nurses stay elsewhere from the work location. The protestors also accused the district administration of not offering any help in the matter.

Another nurse said that she has been facing stigma for working in close proximity with COVID-19 patients.

“Though we are respected by the public, at times we can sense the fear in them. As our neighbours enquire us whether we are treating COVID-19 patients, we are forced to lie to them to avoid being alienated in the locality,” she said, adding that Kumudha’s death could have been avoided if she was provided accommodation within the hospital premises.

Kumudha was forced to travel around 40 kms on a daily basis between her work and home, the nurse said. The protestors also met Minister of Higher Education KP Anbalagan and sought better facilities for the community. Following this, Revenue Divisional Officer Thenmozhi and Dean M Poovathi held talks with the nurses and assured them to provide accommodation.

After the talks with the protestors, Poovathi said, “If the nurses had voiced their requests, the hospital would have made arrangements. When I inquired about the lodging, many nurses refused accommodation saying that they want to stay with their families.”

Source: The New Indian Express

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