Doctors and the various stakeholders in the health and finance sectors have agreed to bury the hatchet after the bad blood arising from the slashing of the technical allowance of 2,400 FCFA from the monthly salaries of medical staff. The agreement was reached during a meeting hurriedly called by Public Health Minister Dr Manaouda Mallachie, on August 4, 2020.
After not very friendly exchanges, the parties representing government, explained that it was impossible to restore the slashed technical allowance but government promised to institute a special COVID-19 allowance with the goal of appreciating the efforts and sacrifices made by medical personnel in the fight against the pandemic.
The meeting also agreed that part of the COVID-19 solidarity funds be used in ameliorating the work conditions of health personnel and the provision of personal protective equipment in all the health districts in the country.
The Collective of Angry Doctors on its part promised to withdraw the court action it initiated against government to redress the inconveniences caused by the reduction in their pay packet.
Speaking during the meeting, the representatives of the doctors said the current anger of the medical staff were the timing of the slashing of the technical allowance and the misunderstanding of the various agreements in place which had hardly been interpreted to the benefit of medical staff.
The representatives also condemned the discriminatory way in which allowances were allocated to health personnel, adding that if the agreements were properly interpreted, there would have been no reason to cut the 2,400 FCFA technical allowance in the first place.
Responding to the doctors, the Public Health Minister, Malachie, explained the legality of cutting the technical allowance as well as its administrative foundation.
He was not happy that the Collective of Angry Doctors resorted to legal action without giving government notice to enable it to find ways and means of resolving the problem.
The minister promised to put into place consensual dispositions that would go a long way to restore an atmosphere of tranquility within the work environment.
The doctors promised to remain mobilised with a view to taking the necessary steps if government failed to honour the promises it had made.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary of State in-charge of Epidemics and Pandemics in the Ministry of Public Health, Halim Hayatou, the President of the National Order of Doctors, representatives of the Collective of Angry Doctors, as well as representatives of SOS Medecins Cameroon, the Syndicate of Cameroon Doctors, public health administrators and other senior medical staff.
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