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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Police and Soldiers Take Over Government Hospitals
By Bampia Bundu
Mar 19, 2010, 17:22
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As the strike action of nurses and midwives continue, the Government of Sierra Leone has called upon the doctors and nurses of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), to take over the operations of the Connaught Hospital and the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), until an amicable settlement is reached with the aggrieved parties.


This was confirmed to newsmen on Thursday 18th March 2010 by the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Mohamed Daudis Koroma, during the weekly government press briefing held at the conference room of the Information and Communication Ministry, Youyi Building in Freetown.


This temporal measure was put in place in order to save the lives of patients in the government hospitals, who have been left unattended for the past two days Minister Koroma said.

 

It could be recalled that the nurses and midwives of the two hospitals staged a sit down strike action on Wednesday 17th March 2010, on grounds that the government must explain to them about their package for the free healthcare initiative, and all efforts to get them back to work have so far proved unsuccessful.


Deputy Health Minister, Mohamed Koroma, said the government is actively engaging the nurses and midwives to speedily resolve the matter.

 

He used the forum as an opportunity to call on the citizens not to panic, adding that the police and soldiers are on top of the situation.

According to him, the government will soon issue out a statement that will surely allay the fears of the nurses and midwives on their free healthcare packages.



Minister Koroma reiterated that the Government of Sierra Leone, in collaboration with its partners, will launch the free healthcare service for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children below the ages of five, come April 27, 2010, in a bid to reduce the unaccepted rate of infant and maternal mortality in the country.

He also appealed to the aggrieved nurses and midwives to return to work, whilst assuring them that the government has high regard for them.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports have it that the meeting between Vice President Sam Sumana and the aggrieved nurses and midwives yesterday ended in a deadlock.


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