The sacked employees of Ayub Medical Complex (AMC) in Abbottabad continued their strike for the 23rd consecutive day on Thursday. However, they failed to draw the attention of the hospital administration and the provincial government, who appeared to be completely unmoved by the situation.
The AMC administration terminated the services of 465 daily wage employees last month. According to the hospital administration, the decision was taken as the provincial government was going through a financial crisis, and could not bear the expenditure of daily wage workers of AMC.
The sacked employees, include 40 medical officers, paramedical staff, ward orderlies, IT department employees, maintenance and class IV staff (including over 100 women).
According to official sources, the federal cabinet had earlier decided to regularise the services of every daily wage employee and contract worker who had completed one year of service. The decision was taken during a meeting held under Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on June 4, 2008.
The sacked employees have set up a protest camp inside the AMC, where they sit during working hours and chant slogans against AMC chief executive and the provincial government.
Daily Wage Employees Union General Secretary Nosherwan Khan told The Express Tribune that the sacked employees would continue their strike until they are reinstated. He said the financial crisis is nothing but a ploy to deprive 500 families of their right to livelihood.
“The Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar has 1,200 beds and employs 2,400 people. The AMC, which has 1,000 beds, should reinstate the sacked employees in a similar manner as it is supposed to cater to the needs of nine million people,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.