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Sudan Health and Finance Ministries agree over doctors’ salary payments

June 22 - 2022 KHARTOUM
A doctor treats a malnourished child in Darfur (File photo: Muna Abdelhakim / WFP)
A doctor treats a malnourished child in Darfur (File photo: Muna Abdelhakim / WFP)

The Federal Ministry of Health announced that it agreed with the Ministry of Finance to streamline the salaries of intern doctors and physicians’ assistants, transferring the salaries through banks. The heath authorities expect the funding for the salaries to be competed this week.

The Health Ministry noted the formation of a committee from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance to control the payment of salaries, and deduct to sums from doctors who were unable to sign the provision, as a precaution to protect public money.

A number of medical groups condemned the authorities’ failure to pay May’s salaries, accusing the Federal Ministry of Health of complicity in the decision.

In late January, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Jibril Ibrahim said that with the rise in prices, whether due to increased fuel rates or otherwise, the salaries must be increased. The coming period will witness an improvement and balance, as he put it.

He a news conference on the Sudanese state radio that the 2022 budget included a new salary increase for state employees. The minimum wage for state employees would be raised from SDG 3,000 to SDG 12,000. He pledged to address the salary adjustments with the February’s salary.

The Minister of Finance stressed the state’s keenness that the salary increase be real and not just numbers, by controlling inflation and the exchange rate.

He also said that he expected the return of the Samarat direct support programme for Sudanese families again.

Economic imbalances

In early April, Minister Ibrahim, attributed the economic imbalances in Sudan to the economic changes in the region and in the world as a result of the war in Ukraine. He told the Sudanese El Ain News that the security situation is the country “is no less important than the economic situation and may be linked to each other, each affecting the other”.

Ibrahim said that the security situation has seriously impacted the production of oil, which decreased by a large percentage. “The economic situation is directly affected as a result of the security situation in oil production sites and spending on security in general,” he said.

Paris Club

The Ministry of Finance denies that the Paris Club group has withdrawn from its agreement with the government in July 2021 to forgive Sudan’s debts.

The ministry said in an explanatory statement on Monday that this news is completely false, explaining that the Paris Club group agreed to extend the signing of bilateral agreements with Sudan until April 2023, based on Sudan’s address to the Paris Club group’s secretariat last April.

The statement pointed out that Sudan had not received any written statement from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank indicating the cancellation or freezing of the agreements.

The Paris Club group announced during the past days that the members of the group collectively agreed to suspend the steps that began last year, according to which Sudan entered the initiative to ease the burdens of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) due to a the coup in October 2021.

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