BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hospital staff resume strike over unpaid wages

Employees at Rafik Hariri University Hospital protest in Beirut, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Employees at the state-funded Rafik Hariri University Hospital held another protest Monday, over delays in the payment of their salaries and the shortage of medical equipment at the hospital.

The employees, who haven’t received their salaries for more than three months, have been protesting for nearly five days despite the lack of official response to their strike.

The workers, who have frequently faced the problem of overdue salaries, accused the concerned authorities of negligence toward the medical facility that is now “on the verge of collapse.”

Last month the government approved a plan proposed by Health Minister Wael Abu Faour to tackle the mounting problems facing the Rafik Hariri hospital, after media reports alleged corruption in the medical facility, which was inaugurated in 2004.

There are also complaints about the hospital’s inability to provide medications to patients suffering from chronic diseases.

The facility, which is suffering from a severe cash flow problem, is operating way below its capacity of 400 to 450 beds.

Cabinet last week appointed Faisal Shatila as the new chief of the board of directors for the hospital, following the resignation of the former head, Dr Wassim al-Wazzan.

Cabinet is also set to provide the hospital with a loan amounting to around LL 20 billion ($ 13.3 million).

 

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