Punjab nurses face baton charge during protest

LAHORE: Nurses boycotted health services completely in all government hospitals of southern Punjab after torture and baton charge on protesting nurses in Lahore on Thursday.

Nurses raised slogans against the Punjab government and blamed them for spending public funds on their political rallies. They demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan take notice of the assault.

The series of protests for the increment in pay packages started from Multan and had now spread throughout Punjab. Nurses decided to completely boycott all emergency wards and emergency medical services in southern Punjab and vowed to start marching towards Lahore from all over Punjab. They said the march would include 30,000 nurses.

Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) officials announced to completely support the movement by nurses and other paramedical staff as they claimed that the latter had supported them in their movement for increment and reviewing of pay packages.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Shahid Rao, President PMA said that they should be provided immediate financial assistance if the Punjab government.

“If they can spend millions on political rallies, they should give the nurses and paramedical staff financial relief too, otherwise there will be complete suspension of health services,” he said.

He added that they will also boycott all medical services in the future if the nurses and paramedics’ demand were not be accepted. They had earlier been providing cover duty in emergency wards, intensive care units, cardiology centers and dialysis centers.

Patients were anxious about how long the health services would be paralysed as no government or health official had responded to the crisis in the last two weeks.

Patients also called on the Punjab Chief Minister to hear the nurse’s plea and provide relief to the people.

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