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After KRG fails to pay salaries, doctors and staff go on strike at Sulaimani’s Shar Hospital

Latest walk-out in weeklong strike
Shar Hopistal in Sulaimani (File)
2020-08-15

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SULAIMANI — Doctors and staff at Shar Hospital in Sulaimani city went on strike on Saturday (August 15) after the government failed to pay their monthly salaries.

Because of the strike only patients who required urgent medical care were being admitted, with those seeking routine treatment directed to other hospitals, NRT reporter Eshan Sabir said.

The walk-out is part of a renewed strike action by doctors and health care workers across Sulaimani and Halabja governorates, which began on August 10, and follows on from two other strikes by doctors earlier this spring precipitated by the government’s failure to pay its workers.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is in dire financial distress with a massive budget shortfall. Since the beginning of the year it has delayed some payments to public sector workers during some months and cut take-home pay for the latest disbursement, which was made in mid-July.

The KRG’s Council of Ministers’ meeting on Wednesday ended without a decision on when and how much to pay public servants because of disagreements between the governing parties.

The strike is also playing out in the context of renewed protests across the Region, with demonstrators expressing their frustration about deteriorating economic conditions.

(NRT Digital Media)