“No Strike", Only Absent Doctors In Wau Teaching Hospital

"Last month, Wau State Legislators impeached the State Minister of Health, James Patrice Ibrahim, over the matter but remains a minister after the State Governor failed to acknowledge parliamentarians’ action.

By James Deng Dimo

WAU, 20, August, 2019 [GURTONG] – Trade Union at Wau Teaching Hospital has denied any on-going Doctor’s strike at the government’s run hospital, but has confirmed the absence of doctors at work.

Since last week, Wau Teaching Hospital has been reported not offering full services to the people in what the public described as a strike.

Currently, it is only one doctor operating in outpatients while other doctors have vacated work in the hospital and have gone private.

Yesterday, a team from state legislators led by Information Chairperson committee visited the hospital after learning of the lack of services provision at the hospital.

Pangarasio Beda Uchin, the trade union secretary at the hospital, explains that what is currently going on is the issue of the disappearance of 500,000 South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) donated by President Kiir but went missing in the hand of Health Minister.

“May be people outside are saying the hospital is on strike but the union has not yet announce any official strike. The hospital got itself in this situation after the donation from the President. When the president came to Wau stadium and donated 500,000 SSP” said Uchin.

“Bu the 500,000 SSP did not reach the hospital administration. We, as the trade union, have tried our level best to follow up the money but up to now no clear information about the path of the money. Wau Hospital workers do not know where the money is,” he added.

“It is from there, the workers began worrying about the money. That is what we are asking ourselves every day. We are in a kind of disappointment, the workers are saying maybe it is we the trade union which has taken the money; and that, they say, is why we are not talking.

“We are in fact asking the side handling the money all the time but they are not telling us the truth about the money. So this was the beginning of the problem at the hospital.

“The issue of absence of workers, which you are seeing, is not a strike but is a right demand by the workers because they are not getting their pay.”

Said Hon Agiu Athuai:“Today we came as three heads of committees in the state’s house to find out what is really going on at the hospital. We understand it is only five doctors, who are appointed on the pay sheet of the government; but the rests are par-time workers, people who work if they are paid but down tools when they are not. They are like casual workers; so they leave when they are not being paid their dues”.

“When we came this morning, we started our visit with Outpatients. The Medical Director is the only one operating there, while there are more than 300 patients waiting. There is no doctor in “Children’s Department. Truly the hospital is operating in a way that our people are not expecting,”

Last month, Wau State Legislators impeached the State Minister of Health, James Patrice Ibrahim, over the matter but remains a minister after the State Governor failed to acknowledge parliamentarians’ action.


 

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