The physical aggression of a nurse by the Director-General (DG) in Bint Jbeil Hospital has created a wave of outrage with ripple effects across the country.
In a video that went viral on social media, the DG is seen grabbing and pushing the nurse several times and then raising in threat what looks like a baton.
The nurse, Fatima Yahya, was reportedly demanding her rights along with her colleagues when the DG apparently lost control and went physical.
Health workers and syndicates took a stand of solidarity with a sit-in in front of their hospitals across Lebanon.
They condemned the aggression and demanded that the Health Minister, Dr. Firas Abiad, takes “the appropriate administrative and legal measures against the aggressor,” according to a statement by the Nurse Syndicate.
The head of the General Labor Union, Dr. Bishara Al-Asmar, joined the sit-in at Rafic Hariri University Hospital (RHUH) in Beirut, condemning the violence and taking a stand in solidarity with Nurse Yahya.
He expressed his shock at the DG’s conduct against the nurse and called to hold accountable the DG and all those who aggress the health workers.
He stated to have asked that the health workers in Bint Jbeil Hospital and all government hospitals be granted their rights.
From his side, the representative of the RHUH staff, Bassam Al-Akoum, called on the Ministry of Health and the Syndicates of Nurses and Doctors to intervene to protect all health workers and their dignity in public hospitals.
He also stated the readiness of all government hospitals to escalate the situation.
In Tripoli, the nursing staff of public hospitals also carried out a sit-in in solidarity with Nurse Yahya, joined by heads of syndicates.
Similar stands were taken in several parts of Lebanon, including in Akkar, Saida, and more.
A founding member of the Syndicate of Governmental Hospital Workers, Abdul Latif Issa, praised the “morality and professionalism” of nurse Fatima Yahya, and stressed that “the main goal of hospital workers and their representatives is to obtain rights and fortify dignities.”
The Syndicate of Nurses was among the first to take a stance and strongly condemned the assault.
“The nursing body was once again subjected to violence and abuse at the hands of those who are supposed to be the defenders of workers’ rights, dignity, profession, and livelihood,” it issued in a statement.
It stressed that “what a female colleague has been exposed to in Bint Jbeil Governmental Hospital is rejected, condemned, and denounced, and should not go unnoticed because it constitutes an unethical defamation of all nursing workers while demanding their rights.”
Accordingly, the Syndicate has demanded from the Health Minister to hold the DG accountable and dedicate all efforts “to protect the nursing sector and respect the rights of its workers and their work conditions.”