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South Darfur hospital staff down tools

September 15 - 2015 NYALA
Nyala hospital (Sudaneseonline)
Nyala hospital (Sudaneseonline)

Non-specialist doctors and cleaners in Nyala Teaching Hospital downed tools on Saturday to protest that they have not received their financial entitlements. The strike resulted in the announcement of their payment by the state ministry on Monday.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga on Monday, one of the strikers said that they will not return to work until they have received their financial dues of shift incentives and housing allowances.

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 disruption of work and accumulation of medical waste and dirt in the wards and the emergency department, has forced the nurses to clean the wards themselves, the striker explained.

On Monday, the South Darfur state Minister of Finance instructed the payment of SDG160,000 ($26,150) to the non-specialist doctors and cleaners.

Deteriorating work environment

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.

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