Health workers are demanding their rights on the streets and signing resignations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. This is news that sounds incredible, but,unfortunately, it is true. Almost all doctors employed at the Konjic Health Center have signed a collective resignation because they have not received salaries for the last three months, and the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) which is broken by political crises either does not hear or does not want to hear their cry for salvation. Because of all the above, the heroes in white symbolically took off their medical uniforms and expressed workers’ disobedience.
“I have been working in this institution for 36 years. Neither the war nor the shrapnel took this white coat off me, and,unfortunately, today is the time to take it off,” pointed outOsman Tucakovic, an employee of the Konjic General Hospital.
“We are going home to see vacancies and whether we will look for a job in Sarajevo or in the countries of the European Union(EU). Gentlemen did not deign to find a solution in two months to give workers salaries and unblock accounts, and then let them do what they want,” told Dzenan Mandzuka, an employee in theKonjic General Hospital.
“Criminal charges are being filed against everyone. I appeal to everyone who is responsible to the head of the Tax Administration, Amela Begovic, and to Mr. Isovic – the director of the Federal Tax Administration… Immediately, let them sit down and agree on a way and a model for how to unblock the accounts, and for the workers to get their salaries, ” said Dalibor Vukovic, president of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC)Health Workers’ Union.
And they did what they wanted in the past, both the representatives of the authorities in the HNC and the governing councils that adopted the financial reports, regardless of the accumulation of debts and irrational spending of money.
A later meeting with representatives of the Tax Administration of the HNC resulted in the conclusion to make a division balance of institutions and forward them to the Federal Tax Administration. It is possible that the accounts will be unblocked at the beginning of next week, which, after earlier failed promises, is not a consolation for the workers.
“This agony lasts too long. We all have families. We are fighting. I am a single mother, I have loans, as well as my colleagues. Everyone should start from themselves and understand that it is us today, and tomorrow there will be someone else,” noted Lejla Prevljak, a nurse.
“Workers are running out of energy. Patients lying in the COVID ward and patients on dialysis will find themselves in a difficult situation due to lack of medication,” emphasized Dzenan Lepara, director of Konjic General Hospital.
At this moment, only emergencies, dialysis patients, and COVID-19 patients are admitted to the General Hospital and the Konjic Health Center. The endangered health care system also means endangering the health, perhaps the lives of the citizens of Konjic, while the authorities, unfortunately, are keeping aside in this case as well.