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Patients suffer in Sindh as nurses continue to strike

By Dr.Abdul Razak Shaikh,

The Sindh Nurses Alliance (SNA) has given the call of protest since last two weeks; they tried to march from Karachi Press Club to Chief Minister House today. Police arrested many Nurses to prevent them towards the VVIP area. While Chief Minister Sindh has announced to release all arrested Nurses. Earlier two weeks ago announcing the strike, the SNA leaders maintained that the Sindh government did not meet the nurses’ demands despite signing a written agreement with the alliance.

The provincial government has not been exhibiting seriousness towards the issues faced by nurses while a written an agreement signed with the organization remains unexecuted, implying great injustice with the people in the profession of nursing, read a statement issued by the SNA. Consequently, nurses all over the province have halted their work and the responsibilities for the difficulties and pain faced by hospital patients rest with the government of Sindh.

The SNA warned that the nurses will now go on hunger strike from daily as their protest enters the fifteen days. Nurses from across Sindh, are towards complete boycott and Patients are suffering from irreversible loss.

The SNA leaders appealed the provincial authorities to comprehensively review the problems faced by the nurses and resolve their problems as per the agreement signed with the alliance. They also entreated Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to take notice of the situation and advise the Sindh government in this regard.

PPP has always worked for the people of Sindh and have remained steadfast in ensuring the welfare of the government employees, taking steps such as an increase in the salaries as well as making provisions for new government jobs.

The nurses of Sindh have been demanding that provincial authorities comply with the service structure, promote nursing staff to the next grades and provide professional health and teaching allowances. Lack of official attention to their demands prompted the nurses to protest earlier in May and culminated in the police baton-charging them as they tried to march towards the Chief Minister House.

The May protest, which hampered the operation of intensive care units and led to the arrest of dozens of nurses, was called off after eight days after the Sindh Health Department, in the principle, gave in to many of the nurses’ demands.

Nurses from different public hospitals in the province have been staging a sit-in, demanding the Sindh government has to issue a notification for the promises it had made to them about certain allowances and stipends.

Today Thursday they were marching towards Chief Minister House with banners of the Sindh Nursing Alliance. Slogans written on the banners included a demand to issue the notification for promotion under the four-tier formula, a professional healthcare allowance and increase the stipend.
Earlier Nurses of Sindh have announced a province-wide protest and complete boycott of their duties on Tuesday for the fulfillment of their demands.

They demanded of the government to release the notification in connection with the four-tier formula of their promotions. The nurses maintained that the Sindh the government had not met their demands despite signing a written agreement with them.

They urged the provincial authorities to comply with the service structure, promote nursing staff to the next grades and provide professional health and teaching allowances.

Earlier on July 10, the police had arrested several nursing staff when they had tried to march towards the Governor House, following the failure of the talks with the Additional Secretary Health Sindh.

The health services across Sindh province were paralyzed as nurses continued their protest for acceptance of their genuine demands.

The nurses, under the banner of Sindh Nurses Alliance, completely boycotted the emergency services, intensive care units, pediatric intensive care units, pediatric emergencies, cardiac intensive care units, and other services at the hospitals across the Sindh province.

The nurses are protesting all over the province for health professional allowance, promotion of nurses under the four-tier formula, DDO power for nursing instate principals, hike in nursing student stipend. The situation was also similar in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Mirpurkhas, Jamshoro, Shikarpur, Mithi, Jacobabad, Ghotki, Badin, Kashmore, Dadu and other cities.

The patients admitted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC), Civil Hospital Karachi, National Institute of Child Health, Sindh Government Lyari General Hospital, Sindh Government Qatar Hospital and other health facilities continued to suffer due to the strike.

On Wednesday once again talks were held in between leaders of Nurses and Secretary Health but still no result found, SNA demanding the Notification of their demands.

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