Once again, there are woes in the health sector in southern Belize. Workers at several polyclinics in the south are up in arms after receiving only a portion of monies owed to them. In response to this, the workers have staged a sickout today. Stann Creek Correspondent, Harry Arzu visited the area and spoke to some of those affected.
Harry Arzu: “Workers from the Dangriga Polyclinic including those from the Satellite Clinics at Pomona Village and Hopkins Village are on a stakeout today. The workers from the medical facility bitterly complained that they are not being treated fairly at their workplace and that their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. The medical workers lamented by saying that one area of contention was the taking away of a portion of their bonus that they claimed that the rightly deserved hence is the reason for today’s actions. Love News spoke to a number of them who also mentioned issues that they are facing.”
Voice 1: “Some concerned staff at the polyclinic, we are concerned about the bonus. Every year we get 60%. This year they told us that we are only going to get 50%. Now we should have been informed of this before we worked towards the bonus. Most of us depend on that money to help us with our kids for school. They told us 50% when the time had already passed. They should have discussed that with us since we are the ones working to get the bonus.”
Voice 2: “We got a little bit this year and we are not happy about the 50%, we want more.
Voice 3: “We are in this situation long before and we are getting tired of the situation because they are treating us like we are kids. No one informed us or told us that this is what is going to happen, they are going to take out the 10% off our money witching we didn’t even know about it, they didn’t inform us, no meeting, no discussion, inform us. Why the south? Because we are black or poor, they are not supposed to do us like that man.”
Voice 4: The money was only deducted from the south and not from the other areas.”
Voice 5: “That is my biggest point, why only the south?”
Harry Arzu: “The news also visited the polyclinic here in Dangriga with an effort to reach out to him but he declined us an interview. This is the first time these workers went on a stakeout in regards to these same concerns. Reporting from Dangriga I am Harry Arzu.
The challenges in the south as they relate to health services have been many, ranging from the non-functional morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital and the lack of ambulances. Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, is yet to address the situation in the south and how he plans to remedy the mounting health issues in the south.