Principals ordered to deploy nursing students in strike-hit hospitals
Nursing students in the district are on a collision course against the district administration as they mostly defied the District Collector’s order under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) directing Principals of nursing colleges in the district to deploy nursing students to private hospitals affected by the ongoing strike by nurses demanding pay hike.
Collector Mir Mohammed Ali’s order as District Magistrate on July 16 directed the Principals of eight nursing colleges in the district to suspend the classes of students, except that of the first-year students, for five days from July 17 to 21 so as to deploy them to hospitals hit by the strike. The order was met with defiance from nursing students.
In some hospitals, students from their sister institutions came in the morning for their routine work as part of their course, but later left the premises following the intervention of nursing students’ organisations. Students of the Pariyaram Nursing College boycotted the classes and staged a protest outside the college to denounce the Collector’s order.
“Nursing students in the Pariyaram Nursing College will boycott classes and continue their agitation till the Collector’s order is withdrawn,” said Muhammad Ismail, president of the United Nursing Students’ Association (UNSA), students’ wing of the United Nurses’ Association. The venue of the agitation will be shifted to the district headquarters, he warned.
The Collector’s order hardly changed the situation in the seven hospitals where the nurses have been on strike. They are Speciality, Ashirvad, Koyili, KIMST, and Dhanalakshmi Hospitals here, Lourde Hospital at Taliparamba, and Saba Hospital at Payyannur.
When contacted, the Koyili Hospital management said the students of their own nursing college came to the hospital in the morning as part of their course. The hospital did not require their services for ward duties because many floors of the hospital have been closed due to the strike. The management of the Saba Hospital said that 14 nursing students from sister institution Crescent Nursing College arrived in the morning but then left the premises allegedly in response to a call from the UNSA. The students of the Government Nursing College here were deployed in the District Hospital, college authorities said.
“The Collector’s order is to create provocation against a strike that has been going on in a peaceful manner,” said E.M. Vineeth Krishnan, Indian Nurses’ Association (INA) secretary.
The order to deploy nursing students in the hospitals for normal nursing duties is like allowing a person without driving licence to drive a vehicle during emergency situations, he said adding that the ongoing strike by nurses in hospitals here will continue.