Rally held in support of NAN’s protest

Kathmandu, January 17

Hundreds of nurses took out a rally from Maitighar today, expressing solidarity with the ongoing phase-wise protest launched by Nursing Association of Nepal, which has been demanding implementation of the Labour Act, 2017.

Nursing Association of Nepal has been staging protest for the last eight days putting forth a 11-point demand. Their demands include implementation of the  government-set nurse to patient ratio, ‘appropriate’ pay for  nurses working in private health facilities, end to exploitation of volunteers, and ‘appropriate’ remuneration  and security to nurses working in rural areas, among other things. They have demanded that qualified auxiliary nurse midwives be promoted to staff nurses, and arrangements be made for paid study leave for nurses to pursue master’s and PhD in nursing.

The agitating nurses have also been demanding immediate reinstatement of the nurses Trajina Jati, Sajana Deula and  Sapana Deula at Human Organ Transplant Centre, Bhaktapur.

The agitating nurses have been discontinuing their work for three hours a day as a part of their protest since January 15.

The Ministry of Health today formed a committee to hold talks with the agitating nurses. The government team is headed by Chief Specialist Dr Binod Man Shrestha with Dr Gunaraj Lohani, Mahendra Shrestha and Nursing Administrator Kalpalata Subba as members.

“The government has invited us for talks tomorrow. If the government addresses our demands we will withdraw our protests,” said Pramila Dewan, acting president of Nursing Association Nepal.

Acting Chairperson of NAN Ganga Thapa threatened to disrupt work in all hospitals and medical institutions from 8:00am to 4:00pm from January 18 to 20 if their demands are not met.

“We will continue our protest, halt work 24 hours a day, and stage a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Health from January 21,” she said.