Kalubowila nurses strike over attack on colleague; suspects arrested

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Nurses at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital (KTH) struck work yesterday morning demanding the arrest of three persons who had allegedly assaulted a member of the hospital nursing staff and her husband within the hospital premises on Thursday night (07). They called off the strike after the police arrested the suspects.

The Media spokesman and branch convener for the Government Nursing Officers’ Association, Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Saman Kumara said that the Kalubowila police had arrested one of the attackers on the night of the incident while the remaining three had been arrested yesterday morning.

Kumara said that the suspects were members of the hospital minor staff. Recounting the incident, he said that the nurse had signed off around 7.30 p.m. and asked her husband pick her up since it was raining heavily. However, while he was waiting near the hospital OPD for her to come, the four minor employees had assumed that he was waiting for a hire and asked him to drop them off. Kumara said that the four had been under the influence of liquor. "He told them that he was not waiting for a hire but that he had come to take his wife who was a nurse at the hospital," Kumara said. 

The minor staff members argued with the husband and subsequently assaulted him. The nurse who arrived there tried to stop them only to be assaulted. Kumara said that the strike was called off after the remaining three suspects had been arrested and the Hospital Director had promised to take disciplinary action against them.

KTH Director Dr. Athula Gunawardena said that the nurse and her husband had received minor injuries in the assault and were receiving treatment in the Accident Service. He said that the suspects would be produced in Court and the Ministry of Health and the Hospital would carry out a disciplinary inquiry into the matter.

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