Nurses protest 'dismissal' by top referral hospital

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Dubai, Aug 18 (UNI) About 300 nurses, including scores of Indians loged complaints against Al Mafraq Hospital after they were allegedly dismissed by the top referral hospital, in Abu Dhabi.

The protesting nurses filed complaints yesterday alleging improper performance evaluation and subsequent threats of non-renewal of contracts, at the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company which manages the government run hospitals.

''Nearly 300 nursing staff have been terminated. We have been told our contracts will not be renewed as we performed poorly in an evaluation exam,'' said a charge nurse in the emergency section.

She said the hospital was not bothered about the quality of patient care.

''If one complaint has been made by a patient, let them sack us but that is not the case,'' said one nurse.

However, hospital officials were quoted as saying that the nurses were not sacked. Medical director Mohammed Yamen told the Gulf News the changes were made after a professional development programme was put in place to improve the quality of care given to patients.

''800 nurses were assessed for professional skills and eighty per cent of them did not qualify,'' Dr Yamen said.

The nurses were also left without their homes as the tenancy contracts were in the hospital name and the employers refused to renew the same.

Last week a number of taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi were terminated after they dared to complain against low pay and poor working conditions.

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