LAHORE - Nurses Wednesday continued with protest against sacking and non-regularisation.
Carrying banners and placards, the protesters chanted slogans against the government for its failure in addressing their concerns . Opposition leaders and civil society activists showed up at demo site to show solidarity with the protesting nurses.
The nurses informed the media that Punjab Health Department had been using delaying tactics to fulfill demands of job security to nurses, working on contract and ad hoc basis as well as those who had completed their qualifications from private institutions or other provinces.
Besides, they said that Health Department was also reluctant to give assurance on regularization of nurses. The nurses had withdrawn their services from OPD and indoor wards, which badly affected patient care in hospitals. However, they continued their duties in the emergency.
Young Nurses Association President Rozina Manzoor vowed to continue protest till the fulfillment of their genuine demands, adding that if government didn't respond to the demands of the nurses they would be forced to withdraw services from emergency wards as well.
Earlier, Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab Paramedical Alliance (PPA) and Health Support Staff Association (HSSA) also expressed solidarity with the nurses and urged the government to fulfill the genuine demands of the nursing community in the province immediately.
The YDA, Pakistan, General Secretary Dr Salman Kazmi, in a press statement on Tuesday, said that the patient care work had been badly disturbed in all wards and Operation Theatres (OTs) at all hospitals due to the ongoing strike of nurses.
He urged Chief Minister to ask Special Branch to give correct feedback of the situation because Health Department is misleading by portraying smooth functioning of the healthcare system despite nurses' strike.
Meanwhile, according to a hand out issued here on Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif constituted a committee to look into the grievances of the nursing cadre of Health Department. Chief Secretary Punjab will be the convener of the committee while Advisor to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Khawaja Imran Nazir, Secretary Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Secretary Health will be its members.