International body backs Malawi health worker’s strike

As health workers across the country are expected to stage a sit-in next Monday over failure by government to implement their agreed-upon specific allowances, Global Association of Clinical Officers and Physician Associates (GACOPA) has rendered its support behind the industrial action.

President of GACOPA, Austin Odouor Otieno, said this through a statement addressed to Malawi government.

Otieno said despite their critical role, healthy workers in Malawi are paid the lowest salaries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

He warned that failure by government to address these concerns will likely lead to a deterioration in healthcare services across the country, which in turn will severely affect the health and wellbeing of the Malawian people.

Two weeks ago, when health workers informed government through a letter that they will conduct a sit-in from Monday June 10th, spokesperson for the ministry of health told YFM that the ministry had responded to the letter.

However, president of the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi, Shouts Simeze, denied receiving the response from the ministry.

Meanwhile, organizers of the health worker’s strike have officially written hospital directors for central hospitals, directors of health and social services for district hospitals and hospital directors for Christian Health Association of Malawi (Cham) on the strike.

The letter signed by the presidents for National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi and Physician Assistants Union of Malawi, Shouts Simeza and Solomon Chomba respectively, has asked the authorities to prepare accordingly for the needed coverage of the hospitals during the industrial action period.

The two organisations, however, have not specified the duration of the sit-in as it is dependent on the response and action by the government.

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