Nurses in Papua take their complaints to governor.. and to the ALDP

Bintang Papua, 19 February 2011
Abridged in translation by TAPOL

Nurses working at the Dok II General Hospital have taken part in a
demonstration at the governor’s office, complaining that their rights
have been ignored.

‘We are working to the utmost and often doing things that doctors should
be doing in addition to our own duties. In addition to applying
catheters and giving infusions, we do laboratory work and look after
and wash the patients, as well as handling things that doctors should be

Leni Ebe is one of more than one hundred nurses working at Dok II in
Jayapura.who are critical of the management of the hospital which they
describe as being appalling. After having made complaints to the
director of the hospital (to no avail), they took their complaints to
the governor of the province.

She spoke in particular about the incentive fee that had been promised
by the government but had not yet been paid.

Nurses in all the hospitals in Abepura as well as elsewhere in Papua are
doing their utmost, she said. ‘We were promised the incentive fee in
2009 and were eventually paid Rp 30,000 [around £2.00], which we got
only after pressing very hard for it.’

Since the enactment of the Special Autonomy law (in 2001), Papua has
been allocated substantial sums of money yet internal management
problems have led to a failure to solve problems in the hospitals,
including the failure to pay the incentive fee, which is being paid to
administrative staff. This led to the hospital personnel deciding to
take their problem to the governor.

Leni Ebe said that it had been agreed that specialist doctors and
dentists would get Rp 10 million (a month), phamacists would get Rp5
million and other medical personnel would get Rp 3m, while other staff
including nurses would get only Rp1m. ‘We have to handle so much of the
work, including that usually done by doctors. Is this is all we are
worth? It is far too little, especially for those of us who have
families to feed.’

A decision by the governor allocating the money for the whole of 2010
had not been followed through, as a result of which the nurses decided
to take their problem to the ALDP this week. Anum Siregar, director of
the ALDP, said that the failure to implement the decision was a clear
indication of the lack of any seriousness on the part of the government
to solve the problem and could lead to similar cases occurring elsewhere.

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