Medical waste is accumulating as the strike by general practitioners and cleaners of Nyala educational hospital in South Darfur entered its sixth consecutive day.
The staff downed tools on Saturday and have vowed not to return to work until all money due to them, including wages, incentives, and housing allowances, is paid.
Their strike was prompted when the state Ministry of Finance’s paid SDG170,000 ($28,000) to the hospital’s specialists on Tuesday, while neglecting to pay the non-specialist doctors and cleaners.
The strike has led to the disruption of work at the hospital. Medical waste is accumulating, as is dirt in the wards and the emergency section; which has forced the nurses to clean the wards themselves.
The delay in the payment of the doctors’ overtime meant that last month there were only a few, and sometimes no doctors available in the hospital after 3pm. “We have not received overtime payments for the months of June and July,” a doctor at the academic hospital told Radio Dabanga in August.
Recently, the South Darfur government reassigned the Specialist Hospital in Nyala from treating civilians to treating paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces only.
As the Specialist Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the densely populated city of Nyala and surroundings, patients now have to depend on the Nyala Teaching Hospital, that “does not deserve to be called a hospital” according to the doctor.
In late July, the South Darfur Ministry of Finance deducted SDG10 ($2) from the wages of 27,000 state employees, without consulting them, for the maintenance and expansion of the Teaching Hospital.