- Title: IVORY COAST: Medical workers in Ivory Coast threaten further strike action
- Date: 24th February 2009
- Summary: ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST (FEBRUARY 19, 2009) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PATIENTS IN FRONT OF CENTRAL LABORATORY CLINIC, WAITING TO BE SEEN BY DOCTORS PROVIDING MINIMAL SERVICE VARIOUS MEMBERS OF SYNACASS-CI UNION TALK TO HEALTH SERVICE WORKER (SOUNDBITE) (French) ERNEST ATTE BOKA, SECRETARY OF NATIONAL UNION FOR SENIOR HEALTH WORKERS IN IVORY COAST (CI-SYNACASS), SAYING: "For us, today, we say to the government, 'solve this problem'. If in three days nothing is done, we will schedule another indefinite strike and we are not going to stop." EXTERIOR OF EMERGENCY CARDIOLOGY UNIT EMPTY WAITING ROOM OF CARDIOLOGY UNIT CORRIDOR IN CARDIOLOGY UNIT SIGN FOR 'ABDOMINAL ULTRASOUND' (SOUNDBITE) (French) LAZARD KOUAKOU KAN, EMERGENCY SUPERVISOR FOR CARDIOLOGY UNIT, SAYING: "We are not striking against the people, we are on strike to defend something. This does not mean that we will sacrifice people so we put a team in place which can provide a minimum service." CANCER UNIT BUILDING WITH HEALTH WORKERS WALKING BY CANCER UNIT SIGN ON WALL READING 'REGISTRE DU CANCER D'ABIDJAN. SERVICE DE CANCEROLOGIE' VARIOUS HEALTH WORKERS WALKING IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL COURTYARD HEALTH VISITORS MARCHING IN STREET BY UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL (SOUNDBITE) (French) EMMILIENNE DAKOURY, HEALTH WORKER, SAYING: "When a patient comes in, if he needs to be put on a bed, we do it. We lift them manually, we touch their bodies, so we are the most exposed. They give a risk premium, but we've been given nothing." AMBULANCE NEXT TO EXTERIOR OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL VARIOUS HEALTH WORKERS CHECKING TEST TUBE SAMPLES
- Embargoed: 11th March 2009 12:00
- Topics: Health,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVACEEDUYQTJTOTGRRYF4K6IZM1S
- Story Text: More action threatened by medical workers in Ivory Coast after downing tools last week over pay.
Doctors and nurses in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan, are threatening a strike beginning from March 1 if promises made by the government to increase pay are not upheld.
On Wednesday (February 18), medical workers across Ivory Coast went on strike for four days in protest.
At the University College Hospital, a handful of medics provided minimal service for emergency cases.
Health workers stopped their protest over the weekend to allow for talks between their union and the Ivory Coast's health ministry.
The striking medical staff have given the government a week to meet their demands.
"For us, today, we say to the government, 'solve this problem'. If in three days nothing is done, we will schedule another indefinite strike and we are not going to stop," Ernerst Atte Boka, secretary for the National Union for Senior Health Workers in Ivory Coast (CI-SYNACASS) told Reuters on Thursday (February 19).
A strike by health workers in January 2007 resulted in the government promising to increase salaries with effect from January 2009. However, Ivory Coast's government is in financial crisis and has little room to provide the promised pay rises.
Unlike the medical strike in 2007 which resulted in a number of patient deaths, health workers were available for emergencies this time.
"We are not striking against the people, we are on strike to defend something. This does not mean that we will sacrifice people so we put a team in place who can provide a minimum service," explained Lazard Kouakou Kan, an emergency supervisor for cardiology unit.
According to union representatives, turn out for the strike was good.
Pharmacists, carers, cleaners and agents within the health sector throughout the country reportedly joined the picket lines.
"When a patient comes in, if he needs to be put on a bed, we do it. We lift them manually, we touch their bodies, so we are the most exposed.
They give a risk premium, but we've been given nothing," complained health worker, Emmilienne Dakoury.
Some people needing medical assistance are going to private clinics if they can afford it as there is no guarantee Ivory Coast's government hospitals or health clinics will be open next week.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None