Antigua Observer:- (CMC) A local doctor has blamed the Ministry of Health following the death of a pregnant woman at the gates of one of the largest public hospital’s here on Wednesday.
The woman who was bleeding, reportedly dropped dead after failing to get help as resident doctors, nurses and other members of staff continue industrial action to protest against the lack of medical supplies, poor pay and unsafe working conditions.
As news circulated about the death of the pregnant woman, Dr. Joseph Herold, a third year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the State University of Haiti – a teaching hospital, blamed the Ministry of Health.
“The state doesn’t give us anything to care for the patients,” he said, adding that even rubber gloves are scarce.
Herold and other doctors gathered in an office during a protest mounted by hundreds of people on the outskirts of the General Hospital here.
According to Herold, resident physicians at the teaching hospital earn a basic salary of just US$120 a month, Herold said, noting that pay hasn’t increased for over 20 years, causing a steady stream of doctors to abandon the public hospital system or seek opportunities abroad.
In a statement, the health ministry’s mediators said the resident doctors are demanding nearly US$1,300 a month.
They said they are trying to satisfy demands but they are powerless to address to do so until the next fiscal year begins in October.
Following the woman’s death the protestors covered her body in a blanket and carried it to a nearby radio station in an impromptu protest .
“This woman came here to get help but couldn’t find any doctors. That’s not right,” said Jean Michel Tius, a computer technician as he watched the crowd march away with the body.