Ver Angola


Emergencies overcrowded in Luanda hospitals due to doctors' strike

Patients and family members complained this Monday of the slowness in care and the accommodation conditions of public hospitals in Luanda, where the number of patients in emergency rooms doubled on the first day of the doctors' strike "indefinitely".


The need to improve outpatient services was pointed out as one of the difficulties of those who go to the emergency services of hospital units in the capital, especially when they register considerable demand, as Lusa found in a tour of the main hospitals in Luanda.

With doctors on strike from the early hours of Monday, the stoppage of these professionals also reflects on patients, with only minimum services being guaranteed with 25 percent of the medical team available, as well as intensive care.

"I arrived here at 8:30 am local time and so far (around 12 pm) I have not been seen, I have my son hospitalized here, they gave me a file to do an X-ray and so far I am here waiting, they are just telling me to wait," told Lusa Sebastião Salvador, father of a minor hospitalized at Hospital Geral dos Cajueiros, municipality of Cazenga.

The hospital, located in one of the most populous municipalities in the capital, recorded this Monday a higher demand from patients, especially in the emergency room, whose response is given by a team in service.

Close to 30 doctors make up the clinical staff at Hospital Geral dos Cajueiros, "insufficient to respond to demand", even if at this time the unit operates with more than half of the doctors.

According to stomatologist Ruth Cruz, the flooding at the hospital is not normal, but, she noted, there are many diseases and doctors are "here to respond to this demand".

"Daily we can serve between 50 and 70 patients each doctor, in the outpatient service, and during the 24 hours we can reach 350 patients / day and this flood is also a reflection of the doctors' strike", said the doctor, in statements to Lusa.

The lack of space to accommodate patients and their relatives in the emergency room was one of the complaints of the patient Madalena Pereira, who after having an X-ray said she could not find a comfortable place to rest.

Better salary and working conditions are the demands of the doctors who resumed their strike this Monday, for an indefinite period, three months after the first strike.

The strike by health professionals in Luanda is also felt at Hospital Américo Boavida, a tertiary level unit, as assured to Lusa, on the spot, the coordinator of the union nucleus of that public hospital, Mateus Valentim.

"The strike is, yes, a fact, the staff is motivated, today we are on the first day and we are dealing with administrative and operational issues of the strike, although the objective is to aggravate the measure of the strike, but the minimum services are guaranteed", he stressed.

The internal medicine specialist also regretted the accommodation conditions for patients, especially in outpatient services, "many sitting on the floor and on concrete benches", while waiting for care.

"In fact, the urgency is great and we see that some information was also missing, because many users came to our unit without knowledge of the strike and, then, began to express their displeasure when faced with the strike", he pointed out.

The scenario of indignation, flooding and slow care at Américo Boavida Hospital, as a result of the strike, was also described by Lutango Bernardo Kilola, who said that his brother has not been seen for more than 24 hours.

"I've been here since 12:00 pm yesterday (Sunday), my brother broke his finger and so far he hasn't been seen, and I think this happens due to the doctors' strike (...) it's due to lack of payment, it's kind of strange they have salary problems," he said.

"There are many patients, even in the hospital corridors, it is very crowded, the Government has to take care of this, because it is really complicated.

The reasons for the strike are explicitly posted in some health units.

"For the improvement of the health system, for the improvement of primary care, for the improvement of wages, for humanization, for transparency, we are on strike", reads a poster posted on the main gate of Maternity Ngangula, urban district of Ingombota.

The poster also points out: "Angolan doctor, I work with love, not for love, bills are not paid with love", alluding to the need for better remuneration of professionals in the sector, who in Ngangula ensure the minimum services.


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