Ivory Coast: Medical strike enters ninth day

Abdijan hospital 17.11.06

The all-out strike, with no minimum service, continues, leaving hospitals practically deserted.

Submitted by jef costello on September 15, 2007

The strike was originally called by the Ivory Coast senior medical workers union (Synacass-ci) in relation to yearly pay negotiations. Currently a doctor receives a salary of 173000 CFA Francs (£180), the Ivory coast is suffering from major price increases, especially of staples. For example the price of 12kg of cooking gas has risen from 3500 CFA Francs to between 4500 and 5000.

The strike, which involves doctors and senior staff such as midwives began on the 6th of September. Although they are not striking many nurses have not reported for work, as patients are going to the military hospital. The government issues repeated orders and requests for medical staff to return to work. On Sunday 9th the minister of health stated that those who refused to return to work would lose this month's salary.

The threat was repeated on Tuesday, with a further veiled threat of the use of force as police and the army were mobilised to 'protect those wishing to return to work' The strike remained solid with full observance.

The minister for public health, Docteur Allahkouadio Rémi, announced that unemployed, retired and trainee doctors would be hired by the health service, calling a meeting for Friday morning. He later announced that the union had suspended the strike and ordered its members to return to work. However reports indicate that the strike is still holding.