Hospital staff on warpath

Lamjung, July 15:

Demanding job security, agitating staffers today shut down the Lamjung district hospital. The staffers also accused the government of deciding to turn the community hospital into a

government-owned one. Some 200 patients visit the hospital daily.

“The validity of the hospital’s status as a community hospital has expired,” coordinator of the Hospital Staffers’ Struggle Committee Hari Parajuli said.

Accusing Health Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel of working to convert community hospitals into

government-owned ones, he said: “Why should we work if our jobs are not guaranteed?”

Staffers, locals and members of civil society have repeatedly urged the minister to renew the community hospital’s status. Staffers had closed all services save the emergency cell in the hospital for three days, starting from July 8. The agitation was postponed after a team led by director of the Department of Health Services Dr Mahananda Mishra inspected the hospital and decided to renew the status of the hospital till July 14. “We gave an ultimatum to renew the hospital’s status by July 14 and guarantee the jobs of 52 staffers, but our demands were ignored,” administrative officer of the hospital Shankar Devkota said.