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Mozambican Doctors Extend Strike for Another 21 Days

Mozambican Doctors Extend Strike for Another 21 Days

The Medical Association of Mozambique (AMM) decided on Saturday to extend the strike of those professionals for another 21 days, as they continue to identify problems in the framing of doctors in the new Single Salary Table (TSU).

“The medical profession unanimously decided to extend the strike for another 21 days, that is, the strike will continue until 21 August,” Milton Tatia, president of AMM, told the media after a meeting of the association.

The third phase of the doctors’ strike in Mozambique began on 10 July, with a 21-day stoppage, which can be extended.

Doctors are protesting against salary cuts and lack of payment of overtime, among other demands, which has increased patient waiting times in the country’s different health facilities.

According to the Medical Association of Mozambique, some professionals continue to have salary reductions and their framework in the new salary table continues to be made “without taking into account the length of service”.

The Mozambican Ministry of Health (Misau) said in a statement today that it had delivered a letter to AMM headquarters on the resolution of at least four points out of a total of five claims, with resolution expected by the end of this month.

In the document, the ministry claims to have resolved the problems of reduction and non-payment of salaries, framing without observing the length of service and framing lower than agreed, the latter two points that are still included in the complaints presented today by the doctors.

Misau said that the payment of overtime arrears of up to 2020, the last claim still to be resolved this month, was 73% fulfilled, with 5,022 health professionals having been paid out of a total of 7,862 to whom payments are due.

Milton Tatia confirmed that the Government is already paying the overtime arrears, complaining, however, of a lack of transparency in the process and the payment of lower amounts than due.

“If the Government, through the Ministry of Health, wants to act in good faith, it should provide evidence, send the association a document explaining the payments so that we can also calm our colleagues,” Tatia suggested, adding that human resources and the accounting sector also have no information on how payments are made.

The Mozambican government has reaffirmed its openness to dialogue with health workers, who, in return, say they have sent “several letters to the Ministry of Health”, but without response, and are receiving some information through the press.

“The government says it is open to dialogue with the press. We sent letters, they should take the letters, answer and call us to talk,” said Milton Tatia, noting that the last meeting with the Government took place on the 6th, just before the strike.

The AMM says that during the negotiation process with the Government, they gave in on some points of the claim book, as in the case of the reduction of the exclusivity allowance, which went from 40 to 5%, the risk allowance from 30 to 5%, and the shift allowance, which fell from 30% to 5%.

The implementation of the new salary scale in the civil service is being strongly contested by several professional classes, especially doctors, judges and teachers.

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