LAHORE: A number of nurses appointed on an ad hoc basis held a protest for their demands and staged a sit-in on the road in front of the Lahore Press Club for several hours on Wednesday.
nurses stage sit-in protest
The nurses stop their eight-hour protest after assurances given by PML-N leader Khawaja Imran Nazir and Health DG Zahid Pervaiz that they would organise a meeting with all stakeholders on Saturday to resolve the genuine issues of the protesters.
The nurses from all the public hospitals, including DHQ and THQ hospitals of Lahore reached in front of the LPC at around 9am and staged a sit-in there till evening, thus putting pressure on the government to accept their demands. The nurses said the government had ignored them though they were supporting the healthcare system in hospitals. They said that their colleagues in other districts of the Punjab had also observed complete strike in their hospitals and showed solidarity with the community for fulfilment of their demands. They were holding banners and placards, inscribed with slogans and demands, and also raising slogans against the government.
The nurses demanded the government immediately announce regularisation of nurses working under contract, ad-hoc basis as well as promotions for nurses. Meanwhile, no representative of the Punjab government had reached the spot to hold negotiations with the nurses for several hours, however, Khawaja Imran Nazir and Dr Zahid Pervaiz held negotiations with them.
The nurses were of the view that they were the true servants of a society and nobody else would be willing to take care of the ailing human beings the way they serve them in filth and in risky environments during the spread of contagious and deadly disease like dengue, swan flu, measles, bird flu and others. At least three nurses even passed away by catching dengue fever while serving the patients in special wards of different hospitals. They further added that the nurses stayed away in their offices and served public even when others from their profession were sitting on the roads for their genuine rights.
The nurses showed their satisfaction on their commitment but they said if health department and other concerned people would not fulfill their demands than nurses once again will come on the road across the Punjab.
Citizens have to face traffic mess on busy roads due to protest demonstrations of nurses in front of the Lahore Press Club. People could not reach their destinations in time and they had to use alternate routes. The Mall, Lawrence Road, Nicklson Road, Devis Road, Jail Road, Egerton Road, Empress Road, Abbot Road and other roads remained packed with vehicles for several hours.
Nurses day-long sit-in
LAHORE: The nursing staff of teaching hospitals in the provincial capital dispersed peacefully after a day-long protest on Wednesday on the assurance of the health authorities that their grievances would be addressed shortly.
It was the second major show of strength by nurses of the health department within a fortnight or so.
On the call of the Young Nurses Association (YNA), hundreds of nurses from all teaching hospitals staged a sit-in outside the Lahore Press Club to protest the sacking of their more than 150 colleagues who were appointed on a contract basis.
They blocked the traffic and shouted slogans against the Punjab Health Department as well as the government and continued agitation there for seven hours.
YNA President Rozeena Manzoor refused to leave the road when the health department and government representatives visited the place time and again and held negotiations with protesters.
Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, Punjab Health Director-General Dr Zahid Pervez, parliamentary secretary for health Khawaja Imran Nazir and the Punjab Nursing director-general were prominent among those who held negotiations with protesters.
Rozeena told media that the ad hoc and contract nurses were facing threats of termination and the Punjab Nursing director-general had turned a deaf ear when YNA office bearers took up the issue.
She further said that no other province had terminated the nursing diploma holder staff.
Representatives of the government and health department apprised the protesters that health secretary Babar Hayat Tarar was out of city and it would be difficult for them to give them prompt relief in his absence.
Addressing the protesters, Dr Zahid assured them that their demand would be met after the arrival of the health secretary on Saturday.
The YNA president warned that they would show more strength on the very place if the issue was not resolved during the given time period.
After assurance of the government representatives, the protesters dispersed peacefully in the afternoon.
During the day-long agitation the traffic remained suspended in the surroundings of the Lahore Press Club.