Maoists shut down Manipal hospital in Nepal

February 2nd, 2009 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Feb 2 (IANS) A week after Nepal’s Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda expressed concern at the growing anarchy in the country and the culture of shutdowns to register protests, a trade union affiliated to his own party called an indefinite closure of the Manipal Teaching Hospital in Nepal.The Maoist trade union Monday shut down the hospital run by the Manipal College of Medical Sciences in Pokhara city in western Kaski district, demanding the implementation of the revised minimum wages announced by the Maoist government last year.

Except emergency services, all other departments were closed by the All Nepal Health Workers’ Association and Manipal Non-teaching Staff Union.

Patients have been left in the lurch by the sudden strike while over 70 people who had taken admission Monday had to leave.

The college and hospital, established in 1994 as a collaboration between India’s Manipal Group and the government of Nepal, had faced trouble last year also when employees went on strike for four days after some doctors were manhandled by patients.

The striking unions say they had tabled their 11-point demand to the hospital authorities four months ago. The demands include implementing the hiked minimum wages and giving permanent jobs to people who have worked for 240 days.

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