Protest over alternative accommodation; official says had thought of their safety when considering TB hospital
The nurses sported black bands on their arms on Tuesday in protest
The KEM Hospital and Medical College turned 97-years-old on Tuesday, however, its nurses weren’t part of the celebration. They protested with black bands tied to their arms, the lack of a safe structure to house and educate nursing students till the old one is repaired. They continue to stay in the dilapidated structure and are at loggerheads with the hospital administration, which says the nurses should stop playing the blame game. The administration insists they are concerned about the students and faculty and have taken a decision with their safety in mind.
A 40-year-old cook sustained severe head injuries when a concrete slab from the roof fell on her on November 3, 2022 at the KEM Nurses Quarters and School of Nursing in Parel. The incident caught the attention of the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission, following which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the students would be shifted within two weeks.
However, two weeks later, the administration came up with alternative accommodation at the TB hospital premises. The students, parents, and faculty objected to the move fearing they would contract the disease. The BMC then said that they would find other accommodation but so far there is no development. Students and faculty still stay in the dilapidated structure.
A nurse said, “We are happy that our hospital has completed 97 years of service but the BMC is not taking proactive steps to shift us. It’s a matter of our lives. If an unfortunate incident happens with any of the students or faculty, who will take responsibility? They can shift us to another building but they want to shift us to the TB hospital.”
A hospital official said, “We have to find a place that can accommodate students, also has ample space for academic purposes, and a library. After a detailed discussion with experts we decided to shift them to the TB hospital, but they are not ready to vacate the dilapidated premises. We are trying to make them understand that there will be no contact with TB patients. We also have to see that the place is safe for our students. It is a BMC property so it is a suitable, safe, and secure place.” “Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Sanjeev Kumar said, “We are concerned about their safety and will resolve the issue.”