Staff at the a major referral hospital in Central Malawi, Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) abandoned work on Tuesday demanding government to revise their allowances and salaries as well as addressing the problems facing the health facility.
Workers embarked on a work stoppage on Tuesday as they said they feel cheated that government has not revised their allowances and salaries given the circumstances they work under.
Stella Warren, chairperson of the KCH social welfare committee, said: “Government knows that the circumstances we work in are very risky and that the money they give us is not enough.”
Sick people coming to seek medical treatment were stranded with no one to attend to them.
Those who wanted to collect dead bodies of their relatives who died at the hospital could not get them because there were no workers at the hospital morgue.
Senior administrators at the hospital have asked Malawi Police to provide security at the institution.
KCH Director Dr Jonathan Ngoma said they are having a meeting with Ministry of Health officials on the issue.
“Yes I can confirm that today we have a high level meeting where officials representing government side are expected to respond to the demands as set by the hospital officials,” Ngoma told Nyasa Times.
Ngoma downplayed the start of the strike, saying: “We are having talks today so how can someone start striking and yet discussions are not yet concluded does that make any sense.”
President Peter Mutharika in his year-end State-of-the-Nation feed from Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe that was beamed on radio and television stations on Saturday night declared that the huge and haphazard salary demands by the strikers will not be granted.
Mutharika stressed that ill-meaning politicians in Malawi and outside the country were fuelling the on-going strikes but did not mention names despite warning that his government will deal with them.
In the past month, Malawi has been increasingly paralysed by a spate of strikes —whereby workers are demanding higher pay—in the civil service, the Judiciary and several other key public service delivery institutions, including the crime-busting Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
The President said his government is bent on harmonising salaries between the civil service and other public institutions, which had enjoyed higher salaries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :