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Patients in trouble as Nangarhar medics go on strike

Patients in trouble as Nangarhar medics go on strike

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May 19, 2018 - 17:04

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Healthinfo-icon workers across eastern Nangarhar province have gone on strike to protest a delay in payment of salaries.

They say they have not received salaries for the last four months despite sharing the problem several times with the public health department.

The ministry and other institutions concerned have also been requested repeatedly to clear the workers’ salary, the medics claim.

Salaries of clinic workers in all 22 districts of Nangarhar are paid by an NGO called by ADHA.

Dr. Shafiullah, head of district-based health workers’ association, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had not been paid salaries for last four months.

As a result, he said, they were faced with serious financial problems. Salaries were the only income source for them to meet daily needs, he added.

However, he promised to keep clinics open in emergency situations like delivery, accidents and children’s vaccination.

Dr. Noor Agha, head of Khoyani Civil Hospital, told Pajhwok he was ashamed of closing the medical facility but it was the only way of survival for them.

Ghulam Hazrat, a cleaner at the Baland Ghar clinic in Behsud district, claimed borrowing food items from shops for the last four months. But the shopkeepers are no longer ready to give him things on credit.

Closure of health centers has created problems for residents. People are forced to take patients to the Jalalabad Zonal Hospital or privatecenters in the provincial capital.

They want the government to resolve the problems of health workers, as many people do not have the ability to take patients to private clinics.

Azizullah Aziz, a resident of Ghanikhel district, said the district clinic had been closed for the last four days and patients have been returning without treatment.

Some well-off people take their patients to private health centers in Jalalabad but the poor suffer as their patients have to stay at home, he added.

A number of provincial council members also say people were in great trouble due to the closure of clinics. Dr. Nasar Kamawal, a provincial council member, said the problem of health workers should be resolved.

On the other hand, the provincial public health department said the Worldinfo-icon Bank had failed to honour its promises of transferring health workers’ salaries.

Inamullah Miakhel, the public health spokesman, said the Ministry of Public Health had discussed the issue with the World Bank and the problem would be resolved in the next five days.

Around 127 healthcare centers are operational in Jalalabad and 22 districts of Nangarhar. All of them have been closed.

Health workers have warned of not treating even emergency patients if their problem was not resolved in the next three days.

mds/mud

 

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