By Swapnil Mishra

Four nurses from Hinduja hospital tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, adding to the number of positive staffers at private hospitals.

Want affected staff to be treated in-house, hospital cites rules

Hinduja nurses protest raw deal

Hinduja nurses protest raw deal

Mumbai: Nurses at the PD Hinduja Hospital are pro­t­esting outside the hos­pital building in Mahim. They want the management to conduct Covid tests on all staffers, as the number of infected among them is rising. They also want the hospital to admit staffers in-house and not refer them to another facility. However, the hospital administration said they were merely following BMC guidelines, which only allow admission of symptomatic patients and, currently, the hospital is filled to capacity.

A video of a nurse from Hinduja Hospital who tested positive for corona and is being quarantined at the NSCI is doing the rounds on social media from May 9. “In the video, a nurse says that the condition of the quarantine facility is poor and there is no one to give medicines. The condition of the toilets is pathetic,” said one of the nurses.

Protesting nurses said they only had two demands: Covid testing for all staff and admitting the four nurses who tested positive, to the hospital. “We want to be treated in the same manner as other patients. We are working on the frontline, helping doctors and taking care of Covid patients; but the hospital has shrugged off its responsibility towards us, which is totally wrong,” she said.

Jibin TC, president, UNA (Maharashtra), said they had written a letter to the hospital administration, asking them to admit their staff to the hospital and provide treatment. “Other private hospitals, whose staff have tested positive are being admitted to their respective hospitals and are being treated. Then why can’t Hinduja do the same?” he questioned.

A Hinduja Hospital spokesperson said they were monitoring all staffers daily for any Covid-19 symptoms before the start of duty and any staffer showing symptoms was being tested and appropriate action was being taken immediately. “A few of our staff have tested positive for Covid-19 but our analysis, along with contract tracing done internally shows that most of the staff have not been a part of the special Covid-19 ward, treating Covid-19 patients.

“As per the BMC guidelines, we can only admit symptomatic patients, while all asymptomatic patients are being asked to quarantine in facilities listed by the BMC, and a daily record is provided to it. Most beds at the hospital for serious Covid-19 patients are full, and some ICU beds are reserved for the BMC, as per rules, and currently, asymptomatic patients, including our own medical and non-medical staff cannot be admitted in the hospital due to the rules,” reads the statement.

Moreover, the hospital claims it is providing them and their families with adequate advice, counselling, coordinating their admission facilities and tracking their progress.

“Our medical and non- medical staff are the backbone of our mission to provide quality healthcare to all and this is of paramount importance to us. We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff and patients in these testing times,” statement further read.