Sindh nurses decry unavailability of safety gear, salary cuts

Five JPMC nurses suspected of having contracted coronavirus, says YNA head

​ Our Correspondent April 08, 2020

KARACHI: The Young Nurses Association (YNA) decried on Tuesday the lack of facilities for medical staff, calling out Sindh government for ignoring their needs.

Addressing a press conference at National Institute for Child Health, they said that the manner in which the Sindh government was treating them was "lamentable."

"The world is going through a crisis and medical staff, including nurses, in all countries have been fighting the coronavirus on the front line," said YNA Chairperson Shahid Iqbal, adding that despite this, the Sindh government did little to ensure that nurses were provided protective gear. "The protective gear for nurses and other staff is not available at hospitals," he complained.

He slammed the Sindh government for cutting down nurses' salaries instead of increasing their pays for their hard work.

"The government has reduced nurses' salaries by 10%," he said. "This is evident of government's insensitivity." Iqbal added that nurses should be "paid their salaries and allowances without any deductions and not just tributes."

He claimed that the government was unwilling to carry out nurses' screening for coronavirus, pointing out that five nurses at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre were suspected of having contracted the virus.

Iqbal demanded that nurses in Sindh be provided protective gear and screened for the virus, as well as be given health professionals allowance and risk allowance, as given to their counterparts in Punjab.

He also condemned the misbehaviour of the police and Balochistan government with the paramedics in Quetta and demanded a probe into the incident.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2020.

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