Unions halt services at Manipal hospital

Pokhara, May 22

The employees’ unions at Manipal Teaching Hospital in Pokhara have launched an agitation after the hospital management sacked four workers on the charge of irregularities in the hospital. All services were halted today, except emergency.

About 800 to 1,000 patients visit the hospital everyday for treatment and patients admitted to the hospital have started shifting to other hospitals owing to the agitation.

The hospital’s human resource department Chief Bhanu Bhardwaj said four staffers working at the hospital’s pharmacy were sacked as they were selling medicine to the hospital at exorbitant prices through a company they had set up. Bhardwaj said that four employees were relieved of their duties effective from yesterday after their involvement in the wrongdoing was corroborated.

The sacked staffers are Ramesh Bohora, Nilkantha Bhattarai, Tek Bahadur BK and Kalpana Thakur. The hospital source said the sacked employees had set up NRT Surgical and NRT Medisales Company and had been supplying medicines to the hospital unilaterally for the past six years. NRT stands for abbreviation for Nilkanth, Ramesh, and Tek Bahadur.

Bhardwaj said the sacked employees’ conduct had caused serious damage to the hospital.

Agitating employees unions have warned of stern agitation if the sacked employees are not reinstated. Sacked staffers, however, claimed the hospital had relieved them of their duties due to personal enmity. Various trade unions, including All Nepal Health Workers’ Association, Nepal Health Workers’ and Employees’ Union issued a joint press statement and condemned the incident.

Manipal Free Health Workers’ Union Coordinator Ramesh Bohora charged that they were sacked from the job as they had been staging agitation for the past one year. “We are ready to withdraw our agitation if the hospital management proves us guilty,” Bohora said.