Health workers end strikes in Bor, Governor intervene

South Sudan's Bor Hospital Care department.

Health workers at Bor State Hospital in Jonglei State have returned to work on Tuesday after laying down their tools due to delays in paying their incentives and poor working conditions.

Doctor Bol Chaw, the medical director at Bor state hospital, says the 200 health workers who walked off the job last Thursday agreed to return to work after meeting with the state governor Denay Jock Chagor on Saturday.

“They resume their duties after meeting with the governor. Now they are working through their incentives have not been paid. It was a commitment from the governor that he was going to follow it up.” Chaw said

Hundreds of patients seeking care at the hospital were stranded after doctors, nurses, midwives, lab technicians, and other workers went on strike. The healthcare workers had earlier given the state government a 72-hour ultimatum to pay their incentives.

Doctor Ajak Garang says medical professionals agreed to carry on their duty after state governor assurances to expedite the payment of the 2-months’ incentives.

“The condition was that we should not wait until the 15th of November; the money has to be paid before the 15th. The governor told us that he did not have the information and would talk to UNICEF, whether here or in Juba. We are waiting for the solution from the government, but if it does not work out, we shall still call for the meeting and go for another resolution that may be favorable to the staff.” Garang said

Garang says medical workers will lay down their tools again should the authorities not honor the agreement. He says it is hard for health workers to continue to work when they cannot support their families.

Garang says workers at Bor state hospital have gone without salaries since August 2020 and have been depending only on the incentives.

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