24 October 2017

Burundi: Nursing Staff Warn to Stage Strike in 14 Days

The nursing staff unions-SYNAPA and SNTS met on 22 October to discuss health care, security at work and personnel management. As the health care is a priority issue, the two nursing unions therefore urge Burundi government to increase appropriately the budget allocated to the budget line "health care participation of the nursing staff".

Mélance Hakizimana, Chairman of SYNAPA says the civil servants insurance "Mutuelle" that should definitely suspend the anti-social measures taken unilaterally and brutally by the latter against the personnel of the health sector. "It must also suspend monopoly measure imposed on the health Staff which doubly penalizes the latter whereas there is no convention which links them", he says.

He says there is a need to have a social dialogue with the nursing professionals, health organizations and unions to propose measures to promote good relations between the civil servant insurance "Mutuelle" and health care providers.

The two unions of nursing staff have given 14 days to all partners to find solutions to all these issues through a social and frank dialogue.

They also urge the ministry of Public Health to pay without delay all the invoices coming from various interveners including the patients' contribution towards cost of medical care. "We are sometimes obliged to pay the patients' contribution estimated at 20% while it was supposed to be paid by our ministry", he says.

Concilie Nibigira, Director General of Insurance Company "Mutuelle" says the misunderstandings between those nursing unions and her company arose from the correspondence sent to them saying that they owe an amount of money to the company. "We alerted them that if their ministry did not pay its debts, we would no longer continue to give them medicines", she says.

She says the ministry has fortunately paid a half of the debt and the measure has been suspended since September 2017. "But if nothing is done to pay all the amount, we will suspend completely the measure and will be obliged to pay the contribution of the other civil servants", she says. The Director General of civil servant insurance "Mutuelle" says her institution is ready for the dialogue to deal with the issues.


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