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Battlelines drawn as doctors, nurses stick to demands

According to sources, confusion prevailed after the RDA later stated that AIIMS authorities had “conceded to their demands”.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi |
February 7, 2017 5:15:52 am
 aiims nurse, aiims nurse death, pregnant nurse death, delhi nurse protest, aiims nurse death probe enquiry, aiims rda, resident doctors association, delhi news Five doctors were suspended as nurses protested. Prem Nath Pandey

A day after the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) suspended five resident doctors for alleged negligence over the death of a pregnant nurse, the administration has now ordered a probe into the matter and constituted an eight-member enquiry committee. On Monday, a meeting was called by the AIIMS administration on the issue of revoking the suspension of three senior and two junior resident doctors. Sources said during the meeting, initially, an agreement was reached between the administration, the nurses’ union and the resident doctors association (RDA) — that the suspension will be revoked and the five doctors will go on leave till the new enquiry committee submits its report. However, according to sources, confusion prevailed after the RDA later stated that AIIMS authorities had “conceded to their demands”. The nurses’ union took objection to this, and changed their stance.

In response to the RDA’s statement after the meeting, the nurses’ union released its own statement, addressed to the director. It stated, “We reject the proposal to revoke the suspension of five resident doctors in the meeting called by the Director, AIIMS and hereby intimate you that if any such order is released, then we will be forced to take the extreme step.”

The administration later confirmed that “no decision has been taken regarding the suspension of the resident doctors” and that the “situation remains status quo”.

“The AIIMS administration today had a long discussion with both the nurses’ union as well as the RDA… The administration has taken this incident very seriously… After a long discussion, the administration has constituted an eight-member enquiry committee… However, no decision has been taken regarding the suspension of the resident doctors,” Dr Amit Gupta, spokesperson, AIIMS, said.

The enquiry committee will be headed by professor S C Sharma, head of the department of ENT, with professor D K Sharma, medical superintendent, AIIMS, as member secretary. The committee also includes two members from outside AIIMS, officials said.

Meanwhile, the RDA said once the suspension notices are issued to the five doctors, they will accordingly take “appropriate steps to oppose the move of the AIIMS administration”.

“During the meeting, we were told the suspension has been revoked. But now that there is status quo, we will wait for the administration to issue notices and take appropriate steps to oppose the move,” said an RDA member.

The nurses’ union has alleged that the doctors overseeing the delivery of nurse Rajbir Kaur informed the family that a complication had arisen and a cesarean section had to be conducted. Later, they told the family that the child was stillborn, and Kaur had been sent to the ICU. Kaur eventually died in the hospital.

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