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December 2, 2020

Nurses at ATH end protest after six days

Peshawar

December 2, 2020

ABBOTTABAD: The nursing staff at the Ayub Teaching Hospital (ATH) Abbottabad has called off the strike after six days.

The strike started after the representatives of the nursing staff exchanged some heated arguments with Medical Director Ayub Teaching Hospital Dr Ahsan Aurangezeb a few days back. This had prompted the nurses to go on strike.

Dean Ayub Medical College Prof Dr Umar Farooq confirmed to The News that nurses had called off the strike after successful talks with the director Nursing. He said that he had offered to the protesting nurses to conduct an impartial inquiry to probe the termination of a male nurse and discuss other matters.

It was learnt that the protesting nurses were demanding the reinstatement of the terminated male nurse.

After long discussion, it was decided that nurses would call off the strike while the hospital administration would form an impartial inquiry committee to probe the matter including termination of male nurse Muhammad Zakaria.

The nursing association president also confirmed to this correspondent that the strike has been called off temporarily after assurance from the administration about holding an impartial inquiry.

Earlier hospital Administration were claiming that there was a dispute between the male and female nursing staff and the inquiry committee decided transfer of some of the nursing staff . The male staff did not go on duty and did not join the duty and made it a matter of his ego and began to put pressure on the hospital administration through the union.

The nursing staff representatives told The New that they have about 170 male nurses in the hospital whereas some doctors had refused to post them in their wards as they wanted female nurses, which was the major dispute.

When contacted, Nursing Association President Farhat Naz said that male nurses protested when the demand for female nurses was made.

She said that she along with Secretary of Nursing Association Mian Daulat Shah met with Medical Director Dr Ahsan Aurangzeb before the strike to discuss the issues, including the shortage of staff, but he refused to listen to their grievances and misbehaved with them.

She said that presently nurses were overburdened as one staff nurse has to serve 52 beds due to shortage of staff. “None of the senior managers, including the Nursing Director and Medical Director, are paying attention to our genuine demands. They are reluctant to perform their duties despite the fact that all the senior managers have been given huge financial packages under the MTI Act to resolve issues and improve patients care,” Farhat Naz claimed, demanding impartial inquiry into the issues. She alleged that the medical director had threatened the nursing representatives with dire consequences that made them go on strike.

After the exchange of harsh words between nursing representatives and medical director, the nurses went on strike, demanding removal of the medical director from his post.

The next day, the administration issued an order, dismissing the male nurse Muhammad Zakaria, stating that being a contract employee, who was recruited six months ago, he was on probation. The nursing director terminated his services with immediate effect.