PESHAWAR, April 26: The Nursing Association of the district of Peshawar on Tuesday demanded an inquiry committee to probe into the transfer and termination of a staff nurse and a student nurse on charges of mistreating a patient. Speaking to newsmen, association’s press secretary Shaheen Ghani said that a few days ago a staff nurse of the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) Robina Awal Khan, was transferred and a second-year student nurse Sania Haq was terminated allegedly for not treating a relative of the provincial health minister.

She alleged that the health minister had taken the action against the staff nurse and the student nurse without calling any explanation from them. The health minister also refused to meet office-bearers of the nursing association, she said and added that the nursing body had only wanted the minister to order an inquiry in the case.

Ms Ghani alleged that Shahid, a dogbite victim and son of Shah Wazir, a resident of district Dir, the hometown of the health minister, had come to the hospital on April 19 and asked the staff nurse to do the dressing.

Robina Awal Khan, the staff nurse, told the patient that she could do nothing and he should wait for the doctor who would treat him in the operation theatre. Ms Ghani claimed that the relatives of the patient started arguing with the staff nurse. The incident took place in the evening and the following day, April 20, the transfer order of Robina Awal Khan and termination order of student nurse Sania Haq, who was on duty at the time of the incident, were issued. Neither of them was given any chance to explain her position.

The Nursing Federation of the NWFP would hold a meeting on Wednesday to decide future line of action, she said.

Robina Awal Khan said she had been asked by the health department to report to the DG health. She said the day this incident took place a team of Australian doctors was visiting the HMC where about 60 patients were admitted and she and her assistant nurse Sania had too much work to do.

She said Mr Shahid’s case was not of serious nature. His wound needed dressing but the doctor had erroneously left him out of the patients list. “He insisted me to treat him but I told him that it was the doctor’s job,” the nurse added.

“Relatives of Mr Shahid started arguing with me and started blaming me for not putting him on the list of patients to be operated upon,” she added.

“I told them time and again that it was a doctor’s duty to finalize a list but they started threatening me,” Robina Khan said.

Sania Haq, the student nurse, was terminated on the charge that she asked relatives of the patient to leave the place and not to make noise in the hospital ward.

Health Minister Inayatullah Khan, meanwhile, has denied that Shahid was his relative. He, however, said as minister he had powers to take disciplinary action against erring employees.

He said the entire hospital ward was a witness to the incident where both nurses behaved rudely with patients and their relatives.

“Both nurses were rude to patients and their relatives. I have no doubts about it and that is why I do not feel it necessary to conduct an inquiry in this case,” the minister observed.

He said the staff nurse was a government employee and could be transferred anywhere, whereas there was no need for a show-cause notice in Ms Sania’s case.

He said he refused to meet the nursing association because he was convinced that both nurses deserved the action for their ill-treatment with patients and their relatives.

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