Doctors went on strike this week for better salaries and medical service conditions in the country. When the doctors went on strike, the Members of Parliament in Sierra Leone demanded an increase of 300% of wages for themselves, which is a mockery on the strike for better medical service and wages. The politicians demand an increase of their salaries from 1.500 US-Dollars to 4.400 per month. Doctors are paid 400 US-Dollars per month and State Registered Nurses are paid 130.
A lot of doctors go abroad and try to go to imperialist countries (especially Canada and United Kingdom), because of the bad wages and conditions, not only in Sierra Leone, but also in other african countries. The „brain drain“ continues, leaving the population with fewer health professionals, while more politicians run abroad to have good medical treatment. The doctors, which are on strike, demand better wages so that the people in Sierra Leone can have mediacal treatment. 2014 there was a big Ebola outbreak in the country, where the doctors and mediacal staff of the hospiatls also went on strike for better medical treatment and protections, because 10 colleagues died from Ebola then.
In their strike, they have following critique formulated from the national assambly of Junior Doctors Association of Sierra Leone in 2018:
- Poor salaries and conditions of service of health workers
- Lack of medical equipment and supplies.
- Lack of personal protective equipment.
- Delays in appointment and promotion of health workers within the civil service system.
- Lack of medical insurance schemes for health workers and immediate family members.
- Poor motivation for post-graduate training for junior doctors.
- Lack of a national mediacal insurance scheme especially for the poor and destitute.
The imperialist countries use the cheap doctors or other more qualified workers to decrease the sallaries in the imperialist countries, they exploit them two times: in the suppressed countries and then again in the imperialist countries. This struggle for better medical treatment and wages is an important and justified struggle against the increasing imperialist exploitation of the suppressed nations.