Patients Stranded As Cameroon Health Workers Protest Poor Working Conditions

Health personnel working at the Yaoundé Emergency Center are protesting nine years of poor working conditions, as the Minister of Public Health attends the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

As patients lay at the Yaoundé Emergency Centre (CURY) unattended for five hours, over 150 nurses stormed the Ministry of Public Health on Monday morning at 7.30 a.m.,  demanding better working conditions they say they have been deprived of for nine years.

On the  placards they carried were inscribed demands such as “Mr. President, help”  and  “Enough is enough. The situation is unavoidable. 9 years without social security, without registration with the CNPS and withholding monthly salaries for 8 years.”

The workers are also demanding paid social insurance dues and permanent contracts from the ministry.  They say despite past meetings with officials from the institution, it has been all talk, no action.   

“Mr. Director of Human Resources: what is this situation?” they asked. The Director of Human Resources is reported to have blamed the delay on  contractualization of workers on the Ministry of Public Health.

The nurses have asked the government to look into their predicament as they insist a nurse in distress is more dangerous than a soldier at war, alluding to the government’s investment in its military. 

Cameroon’s military budget for 2023 and that of health had a difference of  USD 79.1 million. 

Last year after a similar protest, the  Centre’s director Dr. Louis J. Bitang à Matock, told mainstream media over 1000 patients owe bills at the emergency center. He precisely said  90 out of 100 do not pay their bills, making the center run at a loss.

In a communiqué released on May 4, the  National Union of Medico-sanitary personnel of Cameroon (SYMPENS) and the National Union of Establishments, Personnel and Companies in the health sector (CAP/SANTÉ) said until certain conditions are met, health workers will skip five hours of work each day to protest. 

The Yaoundé Emergency Center (Cury) was created in 2015 to address health emergencies in Cameroon. It was part of the country’s attempt to reduce high rates of deaths in emergency rooms. 

Support Our Journalism

There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.

To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.

Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.

Donate Here

Of course, we want our exclusive stories to reach as many people as possible and would appreciate it if you republish them. We only ask that you properly attribute to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement. Contact us for enquiries or requests.

Contact Us

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Translate »