Kathmandu, January 29
A rally was organised here today to mark the 56th National Nursing Day.
The event was observed with the theme ‘Unite nurses for professionalism’. More than 1,500 people participated in the event which was organised by Nursing Association of Nepal.
The rally started from Maitighar Mandala and concluded at the same place after passing through Bhadrakali, Bir Hospital and Ratnapark. Hundreds of nurses, health workers and people from different walks of life participated in the rally.
During the rally, participants demanded that the rights of nurses working at hospitals across the country be ensured. “We have been raising our voice for the rights of nurses in the country as there are thousands of nurses working in the private sector for free. Nurses are being exploited and underpaid,” said Ganga Thapa, acting president of NAN.
The nurses and health professionals demanded equal pay for nurses working in government and private hospitals. They also demanded an end to discriminatory practices prevalent in the profession and more facilities to nurses, among others.
Earlier, NAN had protested nationwide demanding separate division for nurses and their rights. It later had withdrawn the protest after signing an eleven-point agreement with the government on January 18. The government had agreed to form a taskforce to recommend increment in the pay and perks given to nurses, introduce a provision of appointing nurses at schools and factories, implement the nurse-patient ratio at hospitals and end exploitation of volunteer nurses.
As per the agreement, the health ministry has written to the Ministry of General Administration regarding the provision of separate nursing division at the MoH. “We are waiting for a separate division with rights. The event was also organised to remind the government about our demands,” said Thapa. There are 74,840 nurses registered with Nepal Nursing Council.
A version of this article appears in print on January 30, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.