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MIANWALI, June 2: The nursing staff of the district headquarters hospital on Saturday observed a complete strike to protest manhandling of some of their colleagues at the hands of relatives of three burns patients — two minor girls and their grandmother.

According to hospital sources, two minor girls aged four and six years, along with their grandmother Zaitoon Bibi, were brought to DHQ Hospital from Madadkhel village after suffering lightning burns.

According to hospital doctors on duty, the patients had 70 per cent burns and due to unavailability of a specialised burns unit the attendants were advised to shift them to some hospital in Islamabad having burn treatment facilities.

However, because of financial constraints the patients’ relatives were reluctant to shift them to Islamabad, the sources said.

Consequently, the girls succumbed to their burns on Thursday while their grandmother died on Friday.

On being informed of the deaths, some relatives of the victims reached the hospital to collect the bodies. Some of them got furious and barged in duty nurses room and manhandled the three student nurses present there, accusing them of negligence in handling the patients.

Following the incident, the entire nursing staff of the hospital went on strike.

However, hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Shaukat Zaman convinced some of the nurses to perform night duty and reported the matter to police.

To protest the incident, on Saturday all nursing staff headed by the Nursing School principal gathered at hospital’s trauma centre and observed a complete strike, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.

The paramedical staff and young doctors also showed solidarity with the nurses and pledged to join their protest if police failed to take action against the culprits. Dr Zaman told Dawn innocent student nurses were humiliated despite the fact that they provided all possible care to the patients.

He said the police had registered a case against three accused and the DPO had promised to arrest them soon.

He claimed the nurses had assured him they would call off the strike on Monday (tomorrow).