4 July 2012

Tanzania: Interns Refuse to Vacate MNH Premises

Interns at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) have defied a dismissal order from the management, claiming that the letters are full of irregularities.

A survey conducted by the 'Daily News' at the hospital on Tuesday found out that the management had written to all the interns terminating their services and asking them to vacate the hospital's accommodations immediately.

"We have gathered all the letters and returned them back to the management because the letters have so many mistakes," said Dr Frank Kagoro on behalf of other interns. Dr Kagoro elaborated further that the MNH's management can only return the interns to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare who are the employers and can not cancel their internship as stated in the letters.

"The letters signed by the MNH Executive Director, Ms Marina Njelekela has asked us to vacate the hospital premises immediately but we cannot do that as the hospital owes us some payments," he said. The young doctor noted that interns are also demanding a confidential progress report indicating their performances for the time that they have been working at the hospital.

Dr Kagoro noted that the strike could not be called off because there were still so many issues to settle. The MNH's move to fire interns has come following the hospital's board of trustees' call on Sunday that ordered the management to remove all the interns with immediate effect.

In another development, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has called on all interns who were sent packing in various hospitals to report to the ministry on Friday. The ministry's spokesperson, Mr Nsachris Mwamaja said on Tuesday that all the interns are supposed to report to the ministry's head office in Dar es Salaam.

The move comes following the fact that all the interns were directed to go back to their employer who in this case is the ministry of health. Meanwhile, specialists at the MNH did not strike as they threatened on Monday and instead they reported at their places of work on Tuesday. The Hospital Chief Public Relations Officer, Mr Aminiel Elgaesha, noted that the situation was improving steadily.

In another development, Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Saidi Meck Sadiki, has warned against those who incite medical doctors to join the ongoing strike in three municipal hospitals. Briefing reporters on the state of the ongoing strike in the city on Tuesday, Mr Sadiki said after his visit on Tuesday he discovered that the majority of interns and some medical doctors had joined the strike.

"I have learnt that some medical doctors were inciting others to join the strike. I warn those inciting their fellow medical doctors to stop the move because the strike is against the law," said Mr Sadiki who is also the regional chairman of the security and safety committee.

He said there was only one case of a specialist attached to Amana, Ilala municipal hospital to join the strike, saying the health services were well continuing as all other specialists were working round the clock. Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander, Mr Suleiman Kova, said the police force was working on the reports that some medical doctors had threatened to harm their fellow doctors if they would not join the strike.

He urged medical doctors who have been threatened to report the matter to police for the law to take its course and that police would not hesitate to arrest those who incite other medical officers to join the strike.

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