110 PUBLIC WORKERS STRIKE AT WALLIS HOSPITAL

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Demand Resignation of directors

(Niu FM News, ) – Some 110 public servants at Wallis and Futuna’s public health department have started a strike at the weekend, asking for the head of the department to be removed, local television Télé-Wallis reports on Monday.

The strike has since significantly reduced operations at the main hospital of Wallis island, as well as the three other health centres on both Wallis and Futuna islands.

Force Ouvrirère union member Josina Muliloto told local media the strike was directed at health director Jean-Pierre Batard, whom they have accused of not involving his staff in the decision-making process.

"Before, doctors came here on two year contracts. But now, they just come for two or three months and then they go", Muliloto said, adding this also affected the quality of care provided to patients.

Strikers are scheduled to enter into negotiations with the French-appointed Administrator Superior of Wallis and Futuna (the equivalent of a French prefect) by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a skeleton service has been put in place, mainly for emergency cases.

Wallis and Futuna, located North-east of Fiji, is one of France’s three Pacific island groups (the other two being New Caledonia and French Polynesia).

It is populated by some 13,500, according to latest official census figures.

 

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