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Doctors want urgent funding to improve ‘poor’ health sector

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Friday, April 9, 2021

Juba Teaching Hospital is the main public health facility in South Sudan. It is reported to have inadequate power supply and lacks doctors and nurses after many quit due to little pay and poor working conditions | Credit | File photo

The South Sudan Doctors’ Union has called for urgent funding to uplift the quality of healthcare in the country.

The Union believes the public is dissatisfied with the services being provided by a demotivated workforce in South Sudan.

In a statement seen by Eye Radio, the body urges the government to review salary structures and improve the working conditions of healthcare professionals.

The call comes two weeks after a handful of young people took to the streets to protest the inefficient delivery of services that led to the death of singer Trisha Cee at the Juba Teaching Hospital.

The youth blamed some doctors–on duty–of negligence and bureaucratic procedures to provide medical assistance.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Doctors Union said they too have witnessed a continuous decline in the quality of healthcare in the country.

It demanded that the government increase health budget allocation and increase the salary of medical professionals.

In the 2018-2019 budgets, less than 2 percent was allocated to the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Bol Deng is the Secretary-General of the South Sudan Doctors’ Union.

He told Eye Radio the statement is issued on the occasion of International World Health Day.

Dr. Bol added that the Union is deeply concerned that the Ministry of Labour is still using the old Sudan salary scale to pay some civil servants.

He said some medical doctors are still being paid 4, 350 South Sudanese Pound, an equivalent of 24 U.S dollars, while others receive 6, 840 pounds, an equivalent of 38 dollars every month.

The Union says this has forced trained health workers to move into the private sector or seek better-paying jobs with non-governmental organizations.

It called on the Ministry of Labour to review official salary rates of health professionals, adjust remunerations and ensure wages are paid between 25th to 30th days of every month.

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