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Health

Union says adherence to the strike by doctors exceeds 95 percent

The president of the National Union of Physicians said this Monday that the strike that began for an indefinite period registered a “highly surprising” level of participation on its first day, above 95 percent.

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"We ourselves did not have the adhesion of the entire Angolan medical class, the level of adherence is above 95 percent, in general, and this is very important for us, because more and more we see that the medical class is cohesive," said Adriano Manuel, in statements to Lusa news agency.

According to Adriano Manuel, the solidarity of the class in this strike showed that doctors are becoming more aware of their true role in society.

The union leader lamented the type of medicine that is currently being done in the country, "without absolutely no quality, without biosafety material, without laboratories".

"We do terrible medicine. There are patients in Angola who die and who should have been saved, if eventually the conditions had been created. As they are not [created], patients die, mainly in the periphery. What we don't want is that this continues to happen, that's why we went on strike," he said.

If there is no response to the demands, emphasized Adriano Manuel, the strike will continue, noting that in addition to improving working conditions, doctors also want salary increases.

"We need to have an improvement in working conditions. We have hospitals that don't have any laboratory, not even an X-ray, they don't have the basics to practice quality medicine. We have hospitals that don't even have medication, absolutely nothing. sending our patients to buy medicines in pharmacies, many patients come to convulse and we don't have medicine to stop the convulsion", he explained.

Adriano Manuel also criticized the lack of improvement in the primary health system, which leads to flooding in tertiary hospitals, which could be avoided with investments in preventive rather than curative medicine.

"The fact that absolutely nothing is solved at the base, we are trying to solve the problem in the curative health system. The great problem in Angola is the primary health system, prevention, the Government invests almost or nothing in prevention and we will not invest finding patients who could very well be treated in the periphery come to tertiary hospitals where they accumulate and die because of the scarcity of human resources," he said.

The president of the Angolan doctors' union said that negotiations were started with the employer on the list of claims presented last September, but no agreement was reached.

"We agreed on something and they say there was a misunderstanding on our part. There was no misunderstanding on our part, they are wanting to impose things that we think they shouldn't impose," he said.

Doctors defend that concessions must be made, Adriano Manuel continued, "and the Ministry of Health does not want to make concessions at all".

"But we know why. They have partisan guidelines not to. For example, one of our concessions was the fact that I didn't go back to the David Bernardino Pediatric Hospital. Under normal conditions, respecting the law, I should have gone back to this hospital, because the union law says that the unionist must not be transferred to a unit in the exercise of his function without his approval, they did that, they imposed that I did not return and we accepted", he indicated.

Adriano Manuel believes that there is a lack of seriousness on the part of the employer, because they do not want to withdraw the disciplinary process on him and that he must accept to be transferred to a hospital chosen by the Ministry of Health.

"We are already seeing what this will do. Not removing the disciplinary process, being transferred to the hospital that they are suggesting, another disciplinary process gives my expulsion, so we have already taken care of the Ministry of Health's game , that's why we don't accept it", he stressed.

The list of claims presents as one of the first demands, the immediate replacement of the president of the National Union of Doctors of Angola, his compensation for the damage caused by his transfer to the Human Resources of the Ministry of Health and the nullity of the disciplinary process.

The aforementioned disciplinary proceeding was brought against the pediatrician for denouncing to the press the death of 19 children out of 24 in the emergency room of the Pediatric Hospital David Bernardino, having been transferred to the Human Resources department of the Ministry of Health, justified with the need for staff mobility.

During the strike for an indefinite period, stressed the unionist, emergency care, intensive care and hemodialysis are being taken care of. "We cannot in any way harm our population," he said.

Lusa questioned the Ministry of Health about the strike, which later referred to "a possible statement" on the matter.

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