An ongoing health workers’ strike, in Mali has paralyzed Health services at public hospitals and health centers leaving millions of people stranded.
At the main public facility in the capital, Bamako, the Gabriel Touré University Hospital Centre, workers have not reported for duty for a week now.
Doctors, nurses and other health workers abandoned their work stations on March 09, demanding bonuses and pending allowances.
For us today it is not negotiation, but it is a question of implementing the commitments that the government made in November 2016.
“For us today it is not negotiation, but it is a question of implementing the commitments that the government made in November 2016. For us there is no question of negotiations but rather the implementation of the existing memorandum of understanding,” said Youssouf Maiga, Deputy General Secretary of the national Union of Health, Social Action and Family Promotion.
Emergency services are still available in hospitals although those affected are getting only basic care.
The strike follows others recently staged by teachers, magistrates, clerks and foreign affairs officials.
“We have been here for several days, we went for consultation but there are no doctors to administer treatment, the situation is very embarrassing. I do not know what to do,” said Amidou Doumbia, who sought services at the hospital.
“Diseases that do not seem serious in the beginning become complicated after two or three days. Then the costs of care increase and hospitalization time as well. So there are many consequences in this kind of displacement at the hospital level,” said Professor Kassoum Sanogo, Director at CHU Gabriel Touré Hospital.
Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries has suffered from endemic, corruption and instability over the years and most recently from multiple insurrections by Islamist groups in the north, as well as infighting between armed factions.
Health workers also want the government to improve infrastructure in hospitals and enable them operate in better working conditions.