Medical doctors in Malawi will from Thursday join the on-going public sector strike because they face similar challenges as all civil servants, the doctors’ union president Dr Jerome Nkambule has said.
“We the medical doctors in government fully support the action that our fellow civil servants have taken…hence our decision to participate fully in the action,” said Dr Nkambule said in a statement.
But he was quick to say they will maintain skeleton staff
to deal with emergency cases in different public hospital across the country.
He said their members will resume their normal duties
once the demands by the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) have been fully met.
The strike by doctors will further worsen the already overstretched health sector, hit by shortages of pharmaceuticals and staff.
It will also pile more pressure on President Joyce Banda’s
administration which is overwhelmed with other social and political pressures.
“We call upon government to redouble their efforts to resolve this dispute by constructive dialogue rather than seeing public services, which so many people rely upon, being reduced or halted.”
Public sector workers have been on strike for the last two weeks demanding a 67 percent pay hike.
But early this week Finance Minister Ken Lipenga admitted that government cannot afford to pay that much, a statement that has now angered CSTU which has since demanded a retraction on the same.