Sunday, January 18, 2009

Staff Strike at Two Hospitals in the Capital

Medical staff at the San Juan de Dios Hospital and the Roosevelt Hospitals refused to attend to outpatients in protest because 308 of the staff do not have a labor contract. Outpatients had been allowed to come in and be evaluated by a nurse specialists but they were not treated.

The seventh floor of the San Juan de Dio Hospital was filled with idle personnel, chatting with one another or reading. Resident doctors who normally handle outpatients were in a permanent meeting, a form of strike. Paramedics were called upon to set up new appointments for the outpatients. Meanwhile staff leaders along with a court assessor were analyzing a proposal made by the Ministry of Health. This proposal confirmed that 213 doctors have contracts and proposed to give contracts to the other 308 professional medical personnel within three months. A counterproposal was presented demanding contracts for all 521 residents and that they be paid no later than the 15th of February. After a 2-1/2 hour meeting the parties had still not reached an accord.

Another meeting of staff leaders was to occur today to decide whether to accent the Ministry's proposal or to continue the strike.

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