KATHMANDU, May 17: Nurses of Shahid Dharmabhakta National Transplant Center are on their 22nd day of strike and seventh day of hunger strike demanding permanent status. However, the government has not heeded their demand.
Officials at the Ministry of Health and Population held talks with the representatives of Nepal Nursing Council on Wednesday on the demands of the protesting nurses but no agreement was reached.
The condition of the nurses on fast has become serious. Two nurses Diki Sherpa and Jita Baral have been staging the hunger strike. Baral has grown too week and has been hospitalized, according to the agitating nurses.
The nurses started the protest after the center started preparations to call vacancies for permanent nurse positions through open competition ignoring the nurses working on contract for years. Nearly 30 nurses have stopped work and are staging protest. Services at the center have been affected while 45 beds are currently empty.
The protesting nurses are demanding that the nurses and staffers working at the center for the past six years be made permanent automatically. More than half of the nurses and staffers are with the protesters.
Shila Shrestha, information officer at the Ministry of Health and Population, said that she was unaware of any ministry decision with regard to the nurses' demand.