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Home Health Nurses in Bajaur Await Salaries for Six Months

Nurses in Bajaur Await Salaries for Six Months

This has led to dire circumstances for the affected nurses and their families.

by TNN Editor - 27 Jun, 2023 1512
nurses-in-bajaur-await-salaries-for-six-months

Muhammad Bilal Yasir

The Health Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has recruited nurses through the Accelerated Implementation Program (AIP) to serve in the merged districts of Pakistan. These nurses have been assigned to different health centers in the tribal districts.

However, despite their deployment, a concerning issue has arisen. Among the 481 nurses posted in the merged districts of KP under the AIP project since July 2022, 92 nurses have been fulfilling their duties at Headquarters Hospital Khar, Bajaur.

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Unfortunately, these dedicated nurses in Bajaur have not received their salaries for the past six months, causing them significant hardships.

AIP Program & Salary Crisis

Under the AIP project, more than four hundred nurses have been recruited to serve in the tribal districts. This initiative, supported by the United Nations Development Program, is part of the KP government's efforts to promote the development of these districts.

The first phase of the program concluded in 2022, and the government has recently commenced the second phase, which will span the next three years. The focus of the program will be on implementing development projects in sectors such as health, infrastructure, and education.

Arshad Khan, Vice President of the Young Nurses Association in Bajaur, shed light on the challenges faced by these nurses. Despite their dedicated service, the nurses in Bajaur have not received their salaries for the past six months, while their counterparts in other tribal districts have been paid. This has led to dire circumstances for the affected nurses and their families.

Zaid Khan (pseudonym), hailing from Swat, is one of the 92 nurses deployed at Khar Hospital in Bajaur under the AIP project. He shared his experience of enduring difficult circumstances during his education and the struggle to secure a job.

However, he expressed frustration over not receiving salaries for the past six months. The nurses have approached the finance department, but they were informed that there are no available funds. The release of their salaries depends on obtaining funds from the federal government, and without such support, they have no alternative means of sustenance.

Eligibility and Struggles Faced by Nurses

As per the job advertisement, the requirements for this position included a four-year degree in nursing or a diploma in general nursing with one year of specialized nursing experience after completing the degree.

The recruitment was conducted on a contractual basis, equivalent to scale 16. Eligibility conditions stated that candidates from the tribal districts, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, could apply for the post. However, preference was given to candidates from the tribal districts.

Rehman Khan is one of the young nurses affected by this situation. He shares the challenges and anxieties they have faced during both Eid-ul-Fitr and now Eid-ul-Adha, as they have not received their salaries for the past six months. Meeting their rent and daily expenses has become extremely difficult for them, and the prospect of participating in the sacrificial tradition is beyond their reach.

Public Demands Swift Action to Address Salary Crisis

Maulana Khan Zeb, a renowned writer, and political figure in Bajaur, highlights the significant improvement brought about by the recruitment of these young nurses in addressing the severe shortage at HQ Hospital Khar. He commends their dedication and commitment to their duties.

However, Maulana Khan Zeb strongly urges the higher authorities to take immediate action in response to the pressing demand of releasing their salaries. He emphasizes that these young nurses have endured considerable hardship and deserve a prompt resolution to their financial struggles.