Nurses at Ayub Teaching Hospital on Tuesday called off their six-days-long strike after the hospital administration agreed to conduct an impartial inquiry into an incident between the medical director and representatives of nurses and the complaint that some officials only preferred the deployment of female nurses in their wards.
The strike had been called by the nursing and paramedic staff to protest the attitude of the senior medical staff at the hospital.
Ayub Teaching Hospital (ATH) Nursing President Farhat Naz said that the root cause of the issue was discrimination with the male nurses of the facility and a subsequent altercation between senior medical staffers and nurses.
He explained that some doctors were refusing the deputation of male nurses in their wards and insisting that only female nurses should be deployed. This increased the load on the limited female nurses.
The male nurses were angry at this attitude of the senior medical staff. And when one male nurse, Muhammad Zakaria was transferred away from a ward he staged a protest.
Naz said that shortly before their strike, she and Nursing Association Secretary Mian Daulat Shah went to the ATH Medical Director Dr Ahsan Aurangzeb to raise the issue among other problems faced by the nursing staff.
However, Naz claimed that not only did Dr Aurangzeb refuse to hear their genuine problems but also misbehaved with them, and threatened them with dire consequences.
Subsequently, the nurses announced to go on strike to protest this. On the second day of the strike, the hospital administration terminated the services of Zakaria under the pretext that he had been hired just six months ago and that he was still on probation.
This further angered the nurses who subsequently called for Dr Aurangzeb’s removal from the hospital.
Later, Ayub Medical College (AMC) Dean Dr Umer Farooq confirmed that talks were held between Nursing Director Shamsul Huda and Nursing President Naz and that the hospital administration will form a committee to impartially probe Zakaria’s termination as well as other issues raised by the nurses.
Naz confirmed that their strike was called off following talks with the hospital administration.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2020.
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