Three hospital employees sacked for `harassment plaints` – 21 Nov 2022

LAHORE: The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) administration has removed two women workcharge employees (nurses) and a regular staffer (attendant) af ter they lodged complaints to the higher authorities about being harassed at the board`s premier infirmary in Lahore -Janki Devi Hospital.

Sources claim that the ETPB, instead of investigating the matter to ensure protection of the women staf f at the hospital, acted upon a baseless inquiry report submitted to it by the top officials of the hospital against the employees.

`It is deplorable that the employees who should have been protected from harassment by the ETPB faced termination of their jobs after they lodged complaints,` says a source. `Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif must take notice of the situation by ordering the authorities concerned to conduct an inquiry into the issue,` he demands.

Two of the sacked employees, having service of more than 15 years in the hospital, also had restraining order from the Lahore High Court `that no adverse action shall be taken against them`. `The third one is a regular employee but in her termination order, it was written that herservicecontracthadbeen terminated,` says the source.

He adds that their termination orders were issued with retrospective ef fect.

Two staff nurses and the attendant residing in hospital`s quarters complained to the ETPB chairman about the issues they claimed to have been facing for long.

They also claimed that they complained to the hospital`s authorities but to no avail, forcing them to lodge complaints to the ETPB head.

`A person used to sit in the office of Medical Superintendent Dr Farah Hafeez. He also had his ECG at the infirmary dedicated for the women patients. Once he also misbehaved with me while I was administering injection to him in the presence of the MS. The MS also used to harass the women employees through the subordinate staff,` Nuzhat Nasreen, staff nurse, complained in her application to the ETPB chairman.

`I would request you to take action against the officials involved in harassing the employees,` she demanded. In her earlier application, she alleged that an electrician misbehaved with an attendant and some staffers had some employees including a woman attendant dismissed from service for spurning their advances.

Another employee, Safeena Rafique also reported similar complaints to the top authorities. Sajida (staff nurse) also lodged complaints to the authorities but to no avail. `I would request you to stop entry of the official in the hospital and order an inquiry,` Nasreen said.

Nasreen, while speaking to Dawn, alleged that the problem existed on the part of the medical superintendent in whose presence I was once humiliated by being called a transperson. `I was harassed in other ways too,` she added.

Safeena said the hospital workingenvironment was very unsafe for the women staffers. She said she complained to the MS about sexual advances of an electrician but she (the MS) didn`t do anything.

MS Dr Farah Hafeez dispelled the impression, stating that the employees did not approach her with any complaint.

She said the employees had been removed in the light of an inquiry completed on the order of the ETPB chairman.

`I am not at all involved in this case as they never approached with any complaint related to harassment,` she added.

ETPB chairman Dr Habibur Rehman Gilani said an inquiry was conducted into the allegations levelled by the employees.

`Since their allegations did not turn true, the inquiry officer recommended their termination.` He said the employees should have filed their complaints to the board`s office established for the protection of human rights and that he had no problem in further probing the case.

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