Acuei to meet Kiir over MoH wrangles

Acuei to meet Kiir over MoH wrangles
Elizabeth Achuei Yol, South Sudan Minister of Health (photo credit: Facebook courtesy)

The minister of Health Elizabeth Acuei is expected to meet President Salva Kiir to solve the wrangles bedevilling the ministry after the recent contentious appointments.

The City Review learnt about this after a phone call interview with the Spokesperson in the Office of the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar yesterday.

According to Puok Both Baluang, Acuei was supposed to meet with President Kiir on Monday to discuss the matter before Dr Machar was tasked to resolve the crisis in the ministry of health.

“Unfortunately she did not manage yesterday hopefully maybe today she can meet with the President after that his excellency will come and sit with the concerned persons on how to resolve the matter permanently,” Both explained it to the City Review.

He said Dr Machar has not done anything yet because he did not meet with the concerned authorities from the Ministry of Health

Machar was tasked by the President in a consultative meeting on October 29, 2021, which also included Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi Akol to discuss issues facing the Ministry of Health and resolve them amicably.

The tussle

The ministry’s internal crisis started as a result of restructuring in various departments in an attempt to address the concerns of the public and doctors who were on strike.

Early last month, Minister Elizabeth disagreed with Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi who is in charge of the service cluster on proposed managerial changes at the Juba Teach Hospital (JTH) in an attempt to resolve the standoff in the ministry.

The disagreement followed an order by Vice President Hussein in a letter dated October 10, 2021, and addressed to the undersecretary Victory Anib Majur, giving her the power to address the persistent issues of doctors and mess in the hospital.

Majur then complied with the order and reshuffled the director-general at the ministry hence prompting Acuei to cancel the reassignment of the director generals in ministerial No. 22/2021.

She claimed that in all the subsequent appointments, decisions, and directives taken, the Undersecretary did not consult her as the Minister.

Elizabeth suspended Majur after she reshuffled the ministry’s staff and replaced her with Dr Samson Paul Baba as acting undersecretary and also notified health partners in the country about the changes and directed them to coordinate their activities with the new acting undersecretary.

The South Sudan Doctors Union (SSDU) has formerly called on President Salva Kiir to solve the ministry’s internal dispute to prevent the deterioration of the already fragile health system in the country.

The union expressed fears over the poor working relations between the Minister of Health and the Vice President for Service Cluster, which they said, would affect healthcare workers.

The doctor said the matter needs to be resolved to restore hope among health workers who are already frustrated by the poor working environment at the country’s main referral hospital.