Angola has halted payments to doctors who went on strike last week citing inadequate pay and medical supplies.
“We’re just not going to pay the strikers’ wages,” Labour Minister Teresa Dias told a news conference.
For the second time in four months, doctors began protesting on March 21. The most recent strike occurred in December and lasted five days.
According to doctors, the administration has failed to follow through on promises made during the December protest.
The union called a strike after 20 newborns died in a single day at Luanda’s paediatric hospital.
Adriano Manuel, the union’s president, was fired for bringing attention to the fatalities, which he blamed on a lack of supplies and medications at the hospital.
The administration decided to grant basic salaries a 6% hike, as well as increased overtime and perks.
Doctors, on the other hand, say they continue to experience severe pharmaceutical shortages and blame the government of constructing additional institutions without staffing them.
The walkout is said to have enlisted the support of the majority of Angola’s 5,610 physicians. About a quarter of them stayed on to ensure that there was enough staff to respond to crises and care for severely ill patients.
Despite the salary freeze, the Angolan National Doctors’ Union’s assistant, Miguel Sebastiao, has announced that the strike would continue.
“All we’re asking for as a physicians’ union is improved salary and working conditions,” he stated.
He said, “Emergencies, critical care units, and other vital services are still supplied by the medical corps.” “Those services are still available,” says the narrator.
Resource-rich Angola, a large square African country with thirty-three million inhabitants, suffers from extreme poverty despite its oil riches.
The country has fewer physicians as a percentage of its population than poor Haiti or war-torn Afghanistan, according to the World Bank.