Hundreds of patients are stranded at Arua regional referral hospital after the staff went on a surprise indefinite sit down strike this morning.
The more 280 staff are demanding for their housing and transport allowances that are in arrears of six months and amounting to more than 400 million shillings.
The move to strike started two weeks ago after the bitter health workers began demanding for a crisis meeting with the hospital administrators to no avail.
This angered the health workers who this morning decided to pitch camp in front of the medical superintendent's office demanding for their allowances.
Modest Dramadri, the secretary of the health workers' union at the hospital, says they decided to strike after seeing a circular from the ministry of health authorizing payment of the arrears since January.
He says they became suspicious that something could be afoot since the money had not been paid and the hospital administrators became dodgy.
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Wats Wathum, also a striker, says he approached the personnel officer Wilfred Oyo Adroa on several occasions but failed to get assuring answers making him suspicious.
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The Medical Superintendent Dr Phillip Anyama says it was unfortunate that staff downed their tolls despite his assurance that their money would be paid during the financial year 2009/2010.
Dr Anyama says the circular that made the workers suspicious came late after they had already passed the hospital's budget which has a 50-million-shilling cut.
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The situation in the already congested wards is pathetic as patients are pondering their fate.
In the labour ward five mothers in labour were on their own wondering what to do. One of them, Delima Onziru, said it would have been better if she delivered at home.
In the children's ward many anemic children, some on drip, have also been left unattended to.