After 27 days, health workers from The Mozambican Medical Association (AMM) and the Commission of United Health Professionals (PSU) have called off their strike. The AMM represents Mozambique’s doctors while PSU represents the nation’s health professionals.
Though workers say threats nor intimidation deterred their fight, the strike was ended to cut short the suffering of patients, health workers and people who were participating, according to Malaysian news agency Bernama.
The organizations did not achieve the strength hoped for with 200- 300 strikers in total.
“Although we have not achieved any agreement and are thus not satisfied, the AMM and the PSU, out of respect for the pain and suffering of the people who have been in solidarity with us, declare today (Saturday) the suspension of the general strike of health professionals,” the organizations said in a public statement.
According to Bernama, the government announced a 15 percent raise for doctors and a nine percent raise for nurses in May. The figures weren’t enough for AMM and PSU who protested for doctors’ wages to be doubled, in addition to 167 to 367 percent raises for emergency work, night and weekend and public holday allowances.
Last Thursday, finance minister Manuel Chang informed reporters that there was no more space to give-in to the demands of the strikers as spending in the area had been exhausted. Two days later, the end of strike announcement was released.
In the eyes of the government the strike is illegal and those involved will not be compensated for lost wages, Bernama outlined. Health professionals who went on strike will not only suffer from a month’s worth of lost pay, some will have to answer to disciplinary enforcement. Eighteen workers at the Xipamanine health centre in Maputo have already begun to attend proceedings.
“The first step to achieving anything is always to dream. We dreamed, we believed and we acted! We made our position clear to the entire Mozambican nation,” the statement concluded, suggesting that strikes may again surface.
Modern Ghana reported that in the absence of doctors and health workers who led the strike, Red Cross volunteers, military doctors and student nurses were deployed, filling positions in Mozambique’s poorest health facilities.
In opposition, the health professionals’ salaries may be cut as a result of the strike.