Medical Superintendent, Dr D.K. Sharma said that the administration has asked all the junior, resident and senior doctors to double up for the nurses who are currently on agitation against a long list of demands including clarity on salary structure and a freeze on hiring on contract.
"We are trying to manage the patient care services for the hospitalised patients to the best possible extent with the help of faculty members, resident doctors, technical staff by putting them on additional duties. They are managing ICUs and other wards currently," Sharma told IANS.
However, the sudden strike by the nurses, started in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, has left critical patients at emergency and ICU wards in a lurch. The doctors said that despite the additional provisions made by the hospital administration, the adequate attention and care demanded by patients in these wards are lacking.
"Nurses outnumber us by huge margin. If the strike continues, the patient care will be severely affected," told a doctor on duty in the emergency ward.
Meanwhile, the hospital has currently no back-plan to deal with the absence of nurses amid the strike as the doctors are limited in numbers and round the clock duty would exhaust them eventually.
As IANS asked how the scenario would unfold in coming days if the nurses continued to abstain themselves from the services, Sharma said that he doesn't know but the hospital would ensure that patient care is not "adversely affected".
"We are in talk with the nurses. I don't know till when the strike would end but we would ensure that the patient services are not adversely affected. Meanwhile, our doctors are working overtime to ensure the same," he said.
On Monday afternoon, around 5,000 nurses of AIIMS declared the indefinite strike enraged after the premier health institute converted the role of employment from permanent to contract basis. The strike was scheduled to be observed from Wednesday.
In the response to the strike, AIIMS Director, Dr Randeep Guleria has issued a video message appealing to the nurses union to end their strike. He had evoked Florence Nightingale, with the WHO marking her 200th birth anniversary by naming the year 2020 "The International Year Of The Nurse and The Midwife".
He had said that almost all the demands have been met while condemning the call of strike taken amid the pandemic.
"It seems inappropriate that when the country is going through hardship, the nurses are asking for a pay hike. It is very very inappropriate that when we all are reeling under the pandemic, people are losing their loved ones and enduring loss of jobs, the nurses have called for the strike," he had stated. (IANS)