Sunday, July 21, 2024

Take action KSU!


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The recent events as reported by the media are deeply concerning. I urge members of the Khasi Students Union (KSU) to refrain from vigilantism. Let us collaborate with state enforcement agencies to address issues related to illegal activities or migrants. It is commendable that the KSU often highlights health concerns to state authorities. However, I believe our collective efforts could be better focused on enhancing our education system as it is the backbone of growth and development of our people.
Our school education curriculum under MBOSE is not on par with the ICSE or CBSE boards, which hinders our students from competing effectively on broader platforms for higher studies. Similarly, the curriculum at our universities may not adequately prepare our youth for current job requirements. I urge the KSU to prioritize advocacy for curriculum improvements in school education and universities. This requires sustained efforts and follow-ups with the authorities, rather than a single meeting with the Minister or respective authorities.
Let us channel our energy towards constructive initiatives that will bring about growth and development in our beloved State.
Yours etc,,
Melari Nongrum,
Via email

Male Nurses at NEIGRIHMS

A few days ago, I visited a friend who was admitted at NEIGRIHMS hospital and what I had seen really touched me. Though I had tried to let it pass but my conscience doesn’t allow me to do so. Finally I decided to put my thoughts in the public domain because I don’t wish anyone to go through the same experience; even if they are my enemies. In the same ward as my friend, a few beds away, I saw two guys who look like test cricket players with their dirty white uniform who looked like they have not shaved in ages. They were trying to put an IV cannula in a lady patient’s hand. I can see that they were struggling to find the vein to insert the needle through and in the process they had caused a lot of pain and agony to the patient to the point where her hand bled. After they tried with the left hand with no success, they again tried with the right hand while the patient covered her face with a small cloth and held her son’s hand for comfort.
I looked with curiosity at this whole process for a while and wondered at the complete lack of professionalism. The two were not successful in their mission and left. On enquiry I found out that these are the recently recruited male nurses at NEIGRIHMS who had made a reputation for themselves by not knowing the difference between a vein, artery or a tendon. Several questions arise here.
For reasons best known to the NEIGRIHMS management, the recruitment for the 220 nurses in the hospital was outsourced to NORCET (Nursing Officer Recruitment Common Entrance Test) which is responsible for recruitment of nurses for all AIIMS in the country which also has its share of scams vis a vis recruitment. Out of the total number of vacancies, about 200 are males with the majority of them coming from the state of Rajasthan and few from UP. It is understood that not all had joined, thankfully. Unless someone stops this faulty recruitment more such unprofessional workforce are going to come here. This not only deprives the livelihoods of many locals of a job they are capable of and are famous for. Lack of professionalism puts the patient’s life at risk too.
Though NORCET has a ratio 80:20 between female and male nurses, it has never been implemented in NEIGRIHMS. Further, since these candidates completed their BSc Nursing, experience is not required for eligibility. So these guys except for their clinical classes have little or no experience on patient care but they are experts in MCQ needed to crack the exam. I spoke with a few senior nurses in the hospital and learnt that as per instructions of the management, seniors have to teach these new appointees and even classes were arranged for them to be taught the basics. I nearly collapsed at this information. How in the world is a person appointed with full pay and allowances while having to be taught the ABC of patient care? The senior said that in fact their workload has now doubled. They are taking care of patients and also teaching these new recruits. The pertinent question is, how many more mothers, sisters and daughters have to be wrongly pricked with needles by these male nurses who don’t know the size of the needle needed or the quantum of blood needed for a particular test? Further, how can a male nurse give care to a female patient in an unconscious state? Do we have to wait till disaster happens? To top it all, these new recruits come from a highly patriarchal society where women are not treated equally, which is contrary to how women are treated in Meghalaya, with respect and dignity. In fact one such male nurse was already taken by police and another one already charge-sheeted in an assault case. Communication is very important for patient care but in this case these new recruits know only Hindi and their own local dialects.
It is learned that not only for this post, but since recruitment is now outsourced to an outside agency in Delhi, Junior Engineers, Pharmacists, Wardens, Accounts Assistants are all coming from outside the state and the majority from Rajasthan. The recruitment rules for a particular post was amended in such a way that no local job aspirant would be eligible to apply and the appointment of 5 candidates from outside the state is still in the process. One thing that needs investigation is why so many recruits are from Rajasthan. With examination and recruitment scams occupying the headlines today I cannot help but ask myself, if NEIGRIHMS too is a victim of another scam?
The need of the hour is, to immediately stop this ongoing recruitment and to constitute an Independent Committee of experts in the field of health, to assess the competence of these new recruits who are still under probation. The State Government, the Human Rights Commission, the State Women’s Commission etc., should take this matter very seriously and stop this ongoing crime in NEIGRIHMS at the earliest because the majority of victims are the people of our State. As in the past we should not fall prey to self- constituted committees whose priority is to cover up everything rather than shine the light on wrongdoings. The State Government should immediately take action before many more become victims of this inhuman treatment. It is very sad to see our own people having to go outside the state and the country to find employment because even the little opportunity we have in the State benefits people from outside the State and region in spite of the fact that 95% of patients come from Meghalaya and the North Eastern region.
Yours etc.,
Name withheld on request,
Via email


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