Medical doctors and nurses working at the specialized centre for the care of Covid-19 Patients Annex Center in Yaoundé, popularly called the former ORCA have said they are planning a strike action in the days ahead to protest what they have described as government’s abandonment of the workers.
According to these medics, the government has abandoned them completely despite the risk they take daily taking care of sick Covid-19 patients at the center.
According to them, it has been four months now that their allowances of 160,000 each for general practitioners have not been paid talk less of nurses and related staff.
The institution that has close to 40 general practitioners has been at the heart of the battle against Covid-19 in the country. Most of the institution’s workers, including medical doctors have been exposed to the virus. According to a medical doctor of the hospital who opted for anonymity, she feels the government is so selfish.
“How can the government be this careless about us? We are here every day at the frontline of Covid-19 doing our best to help patients recover from the ailment yet the government wants us to depend only on our small salary to survive. Ministers are out there sharing the grants from foreign countries and bodies to themselves and nothing is reaching us here,” said the medic.
Another medical doctor at the hospital said the problem is as a result of administrative bottlenecks that have left them wallowing in this misery.
“Our director, Dr Hollong Bonaventure is a good man who always fights for us. he used to be the one signing out our salaries and we used to have salaries monthly. Later on, politics entered the issue and since our hospital is regarded as the annex of the central hospital, our salaries now pass through the director of the Yaoundé Central Hospital and that is where the problems all started. How can we survive without salaries? Some of us are parents, we have holiday makers at home and soon schools will be reopening. How can we make it up,” she said.
Many have been in shock as it takes seven years to train a medical doctor in Cameroon yet a secondary school graduate from ENS is paid far more that a medical doctor. Yet, even the 160.000frs they are supposed to be paid is not paid regularly.
By Timfuchi Aaron in Bamenda