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July 12, 2019

Protesting nurses to march on PA today


July 12, 2019

After their attempts to march on the Sindh Governor House were thwarted by the police a day earlier, the protesting nurses announced on Thursday that they would march on the provincial assembly after the Friday prayers to stage a sit-in there.

Talking to the media at their protest camp outside the Karachi Press Club, nurses’ leader Aijaz Kaleri said they would put their demands and issues before the lawmakers. “Over 45,000 nurses have been protesting for over a week across the province, but nobody is willing to talk to them and resolve their issues.”

The nurses continued their boycott of emergency services at public hospitals, saying that the provincial government was not serious about resolving their issues and ending the problems of the patients suffering because of their protest.

The boycott has forced many hospital administrations to ask young doctors including house officers and postgraduate medical students to help their seniors dispense medicines to patients in the wards, assist surgeons in the operation theatres and help critically sick patients in the ICUs of major public hospitals.

The protesting health care providers said they would try to reach in front of the PA building despite all odds, urging the police and the administration to refrain from using force against the nurses, especially the women.

They claimed they had been betrayed by the health department, which did not honour an earlier agreement, according to which the nurses were supposed to be promoted in accordance with a four-tier formula, they were to be paid health professional allowance and several other demands were also to be met by the provincial government within a fortnight of the agreement.

Severely criticising the protesting nurses and their leadership for causing extreme inconvenience to the patients at public hospitals, Health Secretary Saeed Awan said they were ready to accept the genuine demands of the medical and paramedical staff and nurses. He said the government would resubmit a summary to the chief minister for the nurses’ promotions and for resolving their financial issues.

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