Gaza's critical patients' lives 'at risk' amid strike

The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has said that a strike by hospital cleaning workers, ongoing for two weeks, is risking the lives of hundreds of critically ill patients.

Gaza's critical patients' lives 'at risk' amid strike
World Bulletin/News Desk
 
The Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip has said that a strike by hospital cleaning workers, ongoing for two weeks, is risking the lives of hundreds of critically ill patients.

"The lives of 113 premature infants, 100 patients in intensive care units, as well as 500 kidney failure patients and dozens of others with heart conditions and burn injuries are seriously at risk due to lack of hygiene," Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra said on Wednesday.

"The strike is also preventing 2,800 non-critical surgeries as well as outpatient clinical services for some 42,000 people including 3,900 children," al-Qodra said.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of hospital cleaners in the Gaza Strip declared an open-ended strike to protest the Palestinian Health Ministry's failure to pay them their salaries over the past six months.

A union representing hundreds of hospital cleaners accused the Palestinian unity government of "neglecting" its members' livelihoods.

The unity government, based in Ramallah, has said that the strike is "unjustified."

Some 700 hospital cleaners in the Gaza Strip have intermittently gone on strike in recent weeks to protest chronic salary shortfalls.

According to the union, each cleaner should receive a monthly salary of 700 Israeli shekels (roughly $200).

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas – the latter of which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007 – signed a reconciliation deal in April that led to the formation two months later of a national unity government.

The new government, however, has yet to assume responsibility for the blockaded Gaza Strip, hampering the disbursement of public-sector salaries in the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Aralık 2014, 12:25
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