Can’t do this alone: Docs of KEM Hospital after nurses’ strike

The Asian Age.  | Vrushali Purandare

Metros, Mumbai

The nurses at KEM hospital demanded shift timings to be reduced from eight to 10 hours to six to seven hours

Nurses at Mumbai's civic-run KEM Hospital protested demanding a separate ward for colleagues infected by the Covid-19. (PTI Photo)

Mumbai: After nurses at Mumbai's civic-run KEM Hospital protested on Monday demanding a separate ward for colleagues infected by the Covid-19 virus and shorter shifts, three resident doctors shared a video highlighting how they attended 25 critically-ill Covid-19 patients without paramedics and cleaners.

The doctors, through the official twitter account of Kem Residents Mumbai requested chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to look into the matter and help them in the same. The doctors tweeted,“At KEM hospital we have a severe shortage of Class 4 workers and staff nurses. Doctors have been severely burdened by this and it’s affecting their morale. The video was shot in ward 4 Covid ICU in KEM hospital.”

It further added, “There are 35 patients in this ward managed by only resident doctors without any staff nurse or any class 4 workers. And this is a state not of just this ward. This is the state in many other wards and it is happening daily. (sic)”

The video, which shows how doctors stepped up to take over responsibilities of staff nurses in addition to their own, pans to reveal a large room filled with beds on which coronavirus patients lie hooked up to IVs and machines.

"We need health workers and we need staff nurses. We can't do this alone. There are very sick patients right now," a doctor adds.

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The situation at KEM has returned to normal but doctors have pointed out it could have spiraled out of control, given how stretched the healthcare system is in Mumbai and with critical patients who need to be monitored constantly.

On Monday, the nurses at KEM hospital demanded shift timings to be reduced from eight to 10 hours to six to seven hours. The staff said that Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean of KEM assured them a separate ward was under construction. However, the doctors have warned that a future shortage of staff responsible for monitoring patients' condition, could lead to an increase in the number of coronavirus-linked deaths.

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