Badghis doctors go on strike over withheld salaries
QALA-I-NAW (Pajhwok): Doctors and other staff at the civil hospital in northwestern Badghis province on Wednesday went on strike against non-payment of salaries over the past six months.
With their number reaching 120, the doctors, nurses and administrative staff of the central hospital staged a protest gathering at the hospital’s courtyard.
The hospital’s chief, Dr. Abdul Latif Rustai, told Pajhwok Afghan News the doctors and other staff had been without salaries over the past six months.
He said the hospital had run out of medicine since a month, accusing the provincial Public Health Director, Dr. Abdul Aziz Tariq, of ignoring the hospital’s problems.
Dr. Rustai warned they would continue their strike until all the doctors and other staff were paid salaries and medicine provided.
Badghis provincial council chief Bahauddin also confirmed problems being faced by the civil hospital. He said it was beyond his understanding why the hospital was not provided medicine.
The strike has landed patients in trouble. One of the patients, Abdul Qadir, said from his hospital bed that no doctors had visited them since morning and no one was given any medicine.
He urged the protesting doctors to call off their strike for the sake of patients’ lives. He said currently there were 50 bed-ridden patients at the hospital.
However, officials said problems of the hospital would be resolved soon.
Deputy Public Health Director Dr. Abdul Ghani confirmed the non-payment of salaries and said they had tried their best to resolve the issue and the Ministry of Finance needed to take measures in this regard.
About the lack of medicine at the civil hospital, he said the Public Health Department had not received any written information in this regard. He said measures would be taken to resolve all the issues soon.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Wahidullah Mayar said the salaries of Badghis hospital staff could not paid due to some problems between the Finance Ministry and the World Bank.
But that problem had been resolved and the hospital staff would be released salaries, he said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.