Mumbai: KEM paramedics go on flash strike as patient’s kin attack ward boy

Mumbai: Nearly 300 paramedical staff of the King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital went on a flash half-day strike on Friday after a 45-year-old employee was allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a patient. However, they called off their strike around 4pm after meeting with the dean of the hospital, who assured them that appropriate action would be taken in the matter.

The hospital staff also requested a change in security guards, as at times, they claimed, the security guards appointed to protect doctors harassed the non-medical staff. Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean, KEM hospital, said, “On Friday, a ward boy was manhandled by the relatives of a patient in the hospital, causing the workers to go on a strike. In the afternoon, I held a meeting with the hospital employees and heard them out.

The incident took place around 11.30am when a ward boy told the relatives of a patient that they could not charge their mobile phones inside the ward. Angered by this, the relatives beat him up. In response, around 150-200 workers went on a sudden strike outside the dean’s office.

According to sources at KEM hospital, there are charging points kept in the waiting room but hospital protocol bars visitors from charging their mobile phones inside the ward. Despite notices to this effect being prominently displayed, patients’ kin fail to do so. The brother requested them not to charge their phones in the ward and pointed them to the waiting room. Infuriated, the infuriated patient’s kin raised his voice and slapped the brother.

In another incident, Vijay Natekar, a dresser working in KEM hospital for a decade, requested the doctor to urgently treat a patient whose blood pressure was falling,” said Gajanan Vajratkar, union leader of class IV employees, KEM hospital. However, the security guard took offence and grabbed Natekar by the collar and pushed him out of the ward, said Vajratkar.

This misbehaviour of the guard led us to call a strike. But our strike did not affect the patients as other employees were working and only 250-300 called the strike,” Vajratkar. Dr Deshmukh said, “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated in this hospital. I will personally look into this matter and will ensure it is not repeated.”

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