Bir stir hits patients hard

Kathmandu, November 13:

Staffers of the Bir Hospital brought regular services to a halt today. The employees were protesting the hospital administration’s “failure to maintain transparency”. The protest has affected hundreds of patients, who had come to the hospital from across the country.

Seeking the fulfilment of a 15-point demand, the employees padlocked the Outpatients’ Department (OPD) in the morning.

The employees have already formed a talks team to hold talks with the authorities concerned.

Laxman Aryal, spokesperson for the team, said, “Demanding that our concerns be addressed, we gave an ultimatum to the Nepal Academy of Medical Sciences, which runs the hospital, four days ago. It has not bothered to address our concerns.”

The staffers have been demanding that more nursing staffers be appointed and temporary staffers be made permanent.

They have also been seeking a hike for employees working on a contract basis. They also maintain that the committee tasked with appointing staffers shall fill up vacant positions immediately.

They also want a new regulation introduced to incorporate all employees at the hospital and the Nursing campus.

The staffers have also been seeking action against all those, who are found to be indulging in irregularities. The agitators have called for timely maintenance of dysfunctional equipment and better health services.

Aryal accused vice-chancellor of the NAMS, Dr Biswaraj Dali, of not bothering to resolve the issues. “The protest will continue tomorrow. The OPD will be locked, but we do not want to trouble patients. We will let doctors perform check-ups on patients within the hospital premises.”

We have erected a tent on the hospital premises to facilitate check-ups,” said Aryal.

The protesters have also demanded that the NAMS VC resign. “The VC must resign to end the chaotic situation. All staffers, including the rector and dean of the NAMS, agree that the VC should resign.” However, the VC could not be contacted for comment.

Bir is the biggest government-owned hospital in the country.

The hospital boasts of more than 1,000 staffers.