PESHAWAR: After nurses of public sector hospitals across the province took to the streets of the city, the health department issued a notification to close all public nursing schools for seven days. It also ordered nurses to vacate hostels.
In addition, 150 students of nursing schools have been charged and liable to rustications by the disciplinary committee.
List of demands
Nurses of all public sector hospitals across the province boycotted their duties on Thursday and held a sit-in outside K-P Assembly
Under the banner of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Nurses Association, the employees demanded a proper service structure that is akin to the ones doctors have. They also demanded a raise in stipends of nursing students to Rs20,000. This would include provisions for uniforms and other allowances.
The employees also wanted a proper policy regarding promotions.
Nurses from Swat, Malakand, Upper and Lower Dir, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Bannu, Buner, Hangu, DI Khan, Swabi, Mardan, Kohat, Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar decided not to end the boycott until these demands were addressed.
Swept under the carpet
Speaking to The Express Tribune, K-P Nurses Association President Farrukh Jalil said the provincial government has promised, time and again, that these issues would be addressed.
According to Jalil, nursing students were only paid stipends of Rs5,000 in K-P, while the amount was Rs20,000 in other provinces.
He urged the government to fill the shortage of nurses in public sector hospitals as they were putting in more hours than necessary.
The association’s president said
nurses provided treatment to patients before doctors even arrived at the scene. He added people were aware of the hard work put in by nurses, but refused to acknowledge it or accept their rights.
According to a hand out issued by health department, parents do not send their children to nursing schools so they take to the streets and protest on some pretext or the other.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2016.
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