Nurses’ stir cripples Dhangadhi hospital

Dhangadi, January 17

Health services have been adversely affected at Dhangadhi-based Seti Zonal Hospital, the largest health facility of the region, following the agitation of nurses across the country.

The Nursing Association of Nepal is on a warpath after Bhaktapur-based Human Organ Transplant Centre suspended some nurses from service after forcing them to work as volunteers for a long time.

The association has called a nationwide agitation putting forth 11-point demand including reinstatement of the nurses.

Service seekers complained that they were deprived of health services after 52 nurses serving at the hospital joined the strike.

NAN, Kailali chair Yashoda Dhakal said they were compelled to halt services as the government didn’t pay heed to their demands. She warned that the association would halt services for 24 hours and then indefinitely if their demands were not addressed. She added that they would halt services at the hospital for three hours from today.

Dhakal demanded unconditional reinstatement of the nurses working at the transplant centre. “Our agitation is hitting patients hard, but it’s our compulsion, not choice,” said Dhakal.

Patients admitted to the hospital and their attendants complained that they were facing a hard time due to the strike.

Hira Lal Bohara, who came to the health facility from Bajhang said patients at the hospital were not given proper care and those who had to take medicine regularly were also affected.

“All the services have been adversely affected due to the agitation at the health facility, which provides the only intensive care unit services in entire Province 7,” said Dr Sher Bahadur Kamar. “Due to the agitation, scheduled operations have also been affected. However, we have somehow been managing emergency services for patients till now,” said Medical Superintendent Dr Dajan KC.

The association has threatened that it will stop services at hospitals and halt academic activities on January 18, 19 and 20 from 8:00am to 4:00pm. It had also halted all health services and academic activities on January 12, 13 and 14.

The agitators’ demands include immediate implementation of nurse-patient ratio, provision of salary and perks for nurses working at private health facilities commensurate with their levels, end to labour exploitation of nurses in the name of volunteer services and promotion of quality nursing in schools and industries, among others.