Nurses warn of nationwide protestNurses have warned of halting their services if the government fails to reinstate three nurses who were recently laid off from the Human Organ Transplant Centre (HOTC), Bhaktapur in what they said was an illegal move by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Nurses have warned of halting their services if the government fails to reinstate three nurses who were recently laid off from the Human Organ Transplant Centre (HOTC), Bhaktapur in what they said was an illegal move by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
The Nursing Association of Nepal (NAN), the umbrella organisation of nurses across the country, has warned of a nationwide protest if the nurses were not reinstated.
Prajina Jati, Sajana Deula and Sapana Deula were given marching orders on November 27 by the ministry, without giving proper reason.
The nurses claim that the hospital decided to fire them in order to hire nurses close to the hospital administration.
Jati said she was fired after she raised her concern over duty hours, lesser payment and tendency to hire nurses as volunteers in the hospital. “I was then targeted by the administration for indiscipline. This was completely baseless because I had raised genuine issues,” said Jati.
Ganga Thapa, acting president of NAN, said the reason for firing the nurses is yet unknown. “The contract of the nurses expired on July. They were asked to work until August. And all of a sudden, they get a letter from the Health Ministry stating that they have been terminated from their job,” said Thapa. “The hospital has undermined the services of the nurses. We will fight back.” She demanded that the nurses be immediately reinstated and action taken against the HoTC administration.
Executive Director of HoTC Dr Pukar Shrestha was not available for comment despite repeated attempts.
Officials at the MoH said the nurses were hired on contract for a certain time frame. The contract had recently expired and the MoH did not extend their term, the officials said.
On Tuesday, the nurses staged a sit-in protest outside the Ministry of Health.
While the MoH has formed a committee to investigate the case and address the demands of the nurses, a formal meeting has not been convened as Dr Shrestha remained out of contact, according to Dr Bhola Ram Shrestha, who leads the probe team.
“We listened to the grievances of the agitating nurses on Tuesday. We will soon recommend necessary measures.”