Nurses agree to withdraw hunger strike after job assurance

Published On: May 20, 2019 08:32 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 20: Agitating nurses of Shahid Dharma Bhakta National Transplant Center have withdrawn their protests after the government agreed to recruit them by announcing vacancy soon. 

During a discussion held between the officials of the Ministry of Health and Population, and representatives of Nepal Nursing Council and the agitating nurses, all the parties agreed to request the Public Service Commission to recruit nurses and other staffers who are currently working at the transplant center. 

The transplant center and the agitating nurses have reached an understanding that the center will first expand the departments of cardiology and hematology before the PSC announces vacancy to adjust the nurses working there since a long time on contract basis. 

If any nurse or staffer is ineligible to get permanent recruitment on age ground they will be recruited at the expanded departments on contract basis. With this, the nurses have agreed to withdraw their hunger strike. 

Pukar Chandra Shrestha, executive director of the transplant center, and Prabina Karki and Sajana Deula signed the agreement on behalf of the agitating nurses. Nepal Nursing Council President Prof Tara Pokharel and Bhaktapur's Chief District Officer Dilip Lamicchane were the witnesses to the pact. 

Nurses of Shahid Dharma Bhakta National Transplant Center, Bhaktapur, had been staging hunger strike since the last 10 days demanding permanent job at the center. 

The health condition of nurses, who are staging hunger strikes for eight days, was deteriorating of late. Two nurses Diki Sherpa from among the agitating nurses and Jita Baral from the Nursing Association had been staging the hunger strike. Sherpa and Baral have been hospitalized, according to the agitating nurses.

The nurses started their protest after the center prepared to announce vacancy for permanent posts by neglecting the staffers working on contract basis at the center for years. Nearly 30 nurses were staging protests by leaving their works as part of their protest. Health services at the center were affected by the protest.

The nurses were demanding appointment of the nurses and staffers, who are working for the last six years, to permanent posts automatically. More than half of the nurses and staffers were on protest while others kept mum on the issue.

Earlier to this, Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopedic surgeon and professor at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in a statement on Sunday said that the government is working for the mafia in coordination with the courts. 

“The government has shown its tyrannical nature by not addressing the demands of the agitating nurses when their health condition is critically deteriorating,” he said.

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