Despite the clarification made by Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo indicating that statements reportedly
attributed to the the country’s Health minister ‘were not accurate’, medical doctors last Thursday agreed to go ahead with a 48-hour strike action.
The Health Minister, Saffie Lowe-Ceesay was quoted in local media as saying doctors are diverting drugs behind closed doors to start a
“We wish to express our disappointment in, and concern for the lack of leadership demonstrated by the minister of Health and Social Welfare Saffie Lowe-Ceesay, during the recent West African College of Surgeons International Conférence,” read a statement endorsed by the Medical and Dental Association of the Gambia (MDAG) and the
Association of Résident Doctors – The Gambia (GARD).
The move taken by medical doctors was preceded by an ultimatum given to Minister Saffie Lowe-Ceesay to step down. They raised concerns over “the lack of responsible leadership, vision, and institutional inertia
demonstrated by the Minister of Health and Social Welfare.”
As doctors embarked on strike, fears mounted among the population over possible delays, disruptions that would affect health facilities across the country. Patients were gripped by anxiety as some of them, who were supposed to undergo an operation, feared to face surgical cancellations.
“All doctors are around. I have not heard any complaints coming from a doctor or a patients, ” Serrekunda Hospital Public Relations Offficer Alieu Badjie told this reporter.
When asked whether there was any disruption in the functioning of Gambia’s second-largest health facility, he said the hospital is functioning smoothly in spite of rumours of a threatened strike.
Inside Serrekunda Hospital, there was no visible signs of major perturbations as the normal routine continues…
However, the situation took a different turn in Banjul where the strike seemed to have gained momentum.
Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital spokesperson Modou Lamin Jammeh, who spoke to this reporter said all residents doctors failed to come to work.
“To some extent, the strike has some impact, but the services are running.The senior doctors are all working,” he said when contacted on Friday.
The striking doctors have vowed to take the issue to another level if authorities fail to accede to their demands…
Written by Abdoulie JOHN