Cameroon: Medical Personnel Plan Strike Action in all Public Hospitals

The Syndicat national des personnels médico-sanitaires du Cameroun are calling for a strike "from 16 August 2022" in the country's…

The Syndicat national des personnels médico-sanitaires du Cameroun are calling for a strike “from 16 August 2022” in the country’s public hospitals to obtain better working and living conditions. The unions assure that “minimum service” will be provided during the strike. However, “there will be no burial and removal of bodies in morgues on Thursdays and Fridays,”.

These trade unions indicate that they will observe a work stoppage for the following reasons the  repudiation of all temporary staff in public health facilities (27,000 staff, 60% of the workforce working without salaries, contracts or affiliation to the CNPS), the registration of all psychosocial support staff in public health facilities with the CNPS, the reconstitution of the careers of former temporary staff in public hospitals, the allocation of health bonuses to categories 5 to 6 and the non-housing allowance to health staff in the 1st to 6th category.

They also demand an increase in the salaries of health personnel, the harmonization of the index and category salaries or the transfer of contractual workers to the civil service, the fixing of the salaries of temporary workers (between 75,000 and 95,000 CFA francs depending on the category), the reallocation of operating subsidies to public health facilities under PBF (performance-based financing), the care of sick health personnel and their nuclear families according to the Ministry of public health decree of 17 February 2017 and the revision of Decree 80 on training schools and the 2001 special status of public health officials “with the introduction of new bodies”.

The unions also denounce the non-allocation of a compensatory allowance to other support and administrative staff, the multi-speed pricing of procedures and care in hospitals of the same level, the failure to update the technical facilities of health facilities “despite the Covid-19”, as well as the poor ranking of health staff at the end of training schools and the “obscure” professional progression. The health workers threatened to go on strike on 16 March if their demands were not met.

Medical Personnel

In an attempt to defuse the strike, the Minister of Public Health, Manaouda Malachie, invited the main union leaders to a table on 12 and 13 March to discuss their concerns. At the end of these consultations, the government member announced a series of measures. These included the acceleration of the processing of staff awaiting pay at Minph and the automation of career procedures. These measures do not seem to convince the unions, who had called for a halt to the strike to give negotiations with the government a chance to succeed.

We are obliged to make ourselves heard through a much stronger action so that everyone is informed that everything we are being served is a delaying tactic. All these problems are urgent because people have already waited too long. So we want, if they schedule this, that we are given a timetable, that it is signed and that there are strong commitments from the government, “said the president of Synpems, Bala Bala, contacted by SBBC. The government had not yet officially reacted at the time of going to press.