Doctors and dentists in Sierra Leone are embarking on an indefinite nationwide sit-down strike today, August 1, 2022, over their pay and better condition of services.
In July, the doctors issued a 21-day notice demanding the reinstatement of their pre-May salary and that the government should give them their weekly 45 liters of fuel which they had not received for years.
According to a social media post by BBC reporter Umaru Fofana, the Minister of Health, Dr. Austin Demby said they had met both demands of the doctors. He further said the issue of the salary reduction, which was occasioned by the withdrawal of Covid19 allowances, had been settled with the doctors getting their money as before.
He also said they had also agreed to be issuing chits to doctors for their fuel quota.
However, Dr. Edries Tejan, the President of the Medical and Dental Association said while the salary reinstatement had been agreed upon, they wanted the cost of the fuel to be paid into their bank accounts rather than in chits because they did not trust the system to be issuing it to them as and when they should.
Officials from the Ministry of Health said they cannot give the money because some doctors get sent on secondment elsewhere where they do get their fuel supply and that it will be difficult to stop the pay when such a move happens.