MOZAMBICAN DOCTORS AGAIN THREATEN STRIKE
Maputo, 3 Dec (AIM) – The Medical Association of Mozambique (AMM) on Friday announced that the country’s doctors will go on strike for 21 days as from Monday.
AMM chairperson Milton Tatia announced the strike at a Maputo press conference. He accused the government of failing to implement promises made when the AMM first threatened strike action almost a month ago.
“For this and other reasons, the doctors find themselves forced to begin a strike that will begin at 07.00 on 5 December throughout the country”, said Tatia. Although the strike is scheduled to last for 21 days, this period might be extended, he warned.
In order not to damage the public, Tatia added, the strike will only affect elective, “non-urgent” activities. This includes not only elective surgery, but also autopsies, public health activities, and teaching in all public sector training institutions.
The main dispute with the government concerns the new public sector unified wage table (TSU). Tatia claimed the TSU “just corrodes some of the rights acquired by the doctors that have never been fully complied with”.
He added that there was “no transparency” in the way that doctors’ wages are being processed. “We deeply regret the point we have reached, but we do not have the psychological conditions to provide the public with the care it deserves”, he said.
According to AMM spokesperson, Napoleao Vieira, among the questions still to be solved are the shift subsidy (which he claimed the government has cut from 30 to seven per cent), overtime pay, and the allowance for those doctors who train specialists.
Viola protested that the government is continually changing its representatives at the negotiating table. “Those who were at the first round are not the same as those at the second round, and there was a 100 per cent change between the second and third rounds”, he said.
“We feel there’s a lack of memory in the negotiations, and this is damaging”, he added.
Viola said at least 1,200 doctors participated in the meeting which decided on the strike. If the government does not respond, he warned, there could be another meeting which might decide to extend the strike.