180 nurses sacked over protests, says opposition


LAHORE: Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed on Wednesday accused the government of using unfair tactics to end the protest of nurses, ‘revealing’ that 180 nurses had been sacked for taking out the protest.
On the matter, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal called Adviser to the Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique today (Thursday) to inform the House about the government’s stance on the issue and their efforts to resolve it amicably. 
Hundreds of nurses of public hospitals are on a non-stop strike against the government, demanding their service structure. The protesting nurses are camped on the backside of the Punjab Assembly building near the office of the director general (health) on Cooper Road for the last three days.
The government authorities had promised them to make legislation in the Punjab Assembly on their issue during the current session, but until Wednesday, no bill was moved in the House. 
The protesting nurses started their sit-in three days ago with a fear that the government would not fulfil its promise.
Anyhow, a day ago, the provincial law minister assured the honourable House that his government would resolve the issue within a week. 
The nurses rejected the words of the law minister and said they would continue their protest despite cold weather until the legislation was made. 
During Wednesday’s session of the Punjab Assembly, the opposition leader along with his other colleagues raised the nurses’ issue and strongly criticised the government for not giving due rights to people of the province.
Speaking on a point of order, the opposition leader told the House that out of 1,800 nurses who were protesting for their service rights, the government had sacked as many as 180 as punishment.
On this, the law minister told the House that his government was making all efforts to resolve the nurses’ problem as soon as possible and the Health Department was taking proper care of it. 
He informed the House that there were different categories of jobs of nurses.
After a long debate and hue and cry from the opposition, the speaker called the adviser to the chief minister on health, who is also a member of the provincial assembly, to riposte the House about the progress made on the issue.

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