Bor Hospital resumes operation, arrears to be cleared within weeks
Medics at Bor Hospital in Jonglei State have resumed service after holding a meeting with the State Minister of Health and directors at the ministerial complex on Wednesday.
The government officials have promised to clear October incentives within one week. They further promised that UNICEF had agreed to allow Care International to sign a memorandum of understanding to cater for the needs of medical staff.
Mabior Madit Mabior, a medical worker at the emergency department said that the Director-General at the facility, Director of National Security Service (NSS) and the Director of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) asked them to resume work yesterday.
“They told us that we know your problem, only that the message was not passed on time and they said they had talked to Ecobank and they will send a delegation that will come and pay the October and November incentives,” he said.
He said they resumed work in the evening and received people who were involved in an accident where one person died and others injured.
“He said the state ministry promised to talk to UNICEF to allow Care International to sign the memorandum of understanding within three days. They begged us to resume work so we resumed on Wednesday evening,” he added
The accident was confirmed by the State Minister of Health last evening that the hospital received nine injured people and one corpse after a Noah vehicle overturned.
A reliable source also confirmed to The City Review that he went to the hospital in the morning for his COVID-19 jab.
Bor Hospital staff revealed on Tuesday that they had resumed strike due to unpaid incentives of the month of October.
The medical workers were dissatisfied with the promises of the government to wait for their salaries as they work.
This was after two children were said to have been brought to the hospital and could not be worked on without oxygen.
The staff claimed that they asked for fuel for the generator in order for the children to be saved which they said ended up in borrowing.
They claimed that they asked Medicos Del Mundo but they said they had already paid September which was entitled to them, Care International had not signed the MOU and UNICEF had money but could not pay their incentives without an implementing partner.
State Health Minister responds
The State Minister of Health, Atong Kuol Manyang, acknowledged their rights but rather blamed them for resuming the strike without notice to the state ministry of health.
She confirmed that their incentives would be paid but UNICEF was fixing names of a few staff who were paid by MDM into their payroll.
“We acknowledge that they have the right to be paid because they have worked for it but the delay is only for one day. We promised them that they would be paid today (Tuesday), but the money has not been released yet,” she said on phone.
“UNICEF will give the ministry feedback tomorrow (Wednesday) on whether they will pay the staff that were not in the World Bank program (run by UNICEF),” she added.
“UNICEF is an international organisation. They can also protect their reputation.” They will not go anywhere with their money. It is just a matter of patience for one day or two days,” she added.
Atong articulated that discussion should always be the right approach instead of threats of strike.
“We are working hard as a government to make sure that they are paid because we know that if they are not paid, the people who are going to suffer are our people,” she added.
Last month, medical workers at Bor Hospital went on strike claiming arrears for the month of September and October.
The strike was joined by workers from the four counties of Anyidi, Jalle, Kolnyang and Pariak who also claimed their incentives for the same months of September and October.
The Ministry later coordinated with Medicos Del Mundo (MDM) to pay the month of September but MDM did not pay the month of October since their contract had ended.