Bor doctors threaten to resume strike

Bor doctors threaten to resume strike
Bor Hospital signpost (photo credit: courtesy)

The medical workers at Bor Hospital have threatened to resume strike claiming they had been tricked by area governor Deenay Jock Chagor to end the protest.

The medics claimed the governor appealed to them to call off the strike on Friday and promised to follow up their incentives with the UNICEF within five days. 

Mabior Madit Mabior, a medical doctor at the emergency department at Bor Hospital, said: “we called off the strike on Friday after the governor asked us to wait for five days to receive our incentives because he said he would talk to UNICEF,” he said.

Madit said over the weekend they accepted to suspend the strike after the governor promised to pay them within five days but they are yet to hear from him.

He said the trend makes the resumption of strikes highly likely. 

 “We have been walking [here] for two days but we do not get him, we have gone today to check on him, if we were unable to meet him; we shall return to strike,” he said.

“We go [to his office], we are told he is busy. The office manager is the one who blocks us whenever we try to call him.”

Strike

Medical workers in Bor State Hospital laid down their tools last week demanding their unpaid incentives of September and October.

Last week, the striking doctors discharged the patients except those who were in critical condition. The strike also spread to Primary Health Care Centres (PHCC) of Anyidi, Jalle, Kolnyang, and Pariak counties.

The four counties also issued a joint statement on Wednesday, demanding incentives for two months to be paid within 72 hours. 

They said children had been chased out of schools and delayed payment had affected their families as they were unable to provide basic needs to the families.

“With the reference of the above, we are demanding two months’ incentives of September and October to be paid to us immediately,” the statement read in part. 

Response

The incentives of health workers were paid by Medicos Del Mundo (MDM) whose contract is said to have ended months ago. There had been no clear communication as to why the money had been delayed and which organisation had replaced MDM.

In her early response, the state Minister of Health Atong Kuol Manyang said the medical workers should be patient.

She added that Care International had replaced Medicos Del Mundo, however, the health workers said that they had never seen Care International visible on the ground to provide drugs and incentives.

 “What happened is that the greater Bor, that is Bor South, Duk County, and Twic East had their MDM, as the implementing partners in the area of health. 

“But their contract ended and Care International was supposed to take over in September, so this transition period has caused some delays in terms of paying the incentives,” Atong said on her Facebook timeline.

“The administration is currently talking with the staff to be patient because the ministry is working on it. The delay is not on the side of the government but because of the transition.”

The medical workers refused the call from the health minister saying that there was no proof that their incentives would be paid. 

Dr Gop John, a medical doctor at the pediatric department in Bor State Hospital, said the strike would continue if their incentives were paid. 

 “We shall continue with our strike if our needs are not met. But we have our medical ethics, we shall not leave our patients to die. We shall have those who will look after them as the outpatient department and emergency department will not receive new patients,” she said.

MORE FROM NATIONAL