- The Gabonese health workers are hardening their three months strike against the government in demand for better remuneration and working conditions, the Health trade unions have said in a statement.
Health workers have been on strike since 12 January providing just minimum services, with few medical practitioners working few hours a day for limited procedures in the government health centres.
The three-months long national health workers' strike in Gabon has reportedly seen public hospitals turning away ill patients in government health care facilities.
The main health workers' union has also threatened to cut remaining medical services at the end of April if longstanding demands concerning salary and working conditions are not met.
The workers are also demanding the rehabilitation of all hospitals and proper equipment to deliver proper medical care to poor and ordinary citizens, saying the current facilities being utilised in the centres are dilapidated.
However, the government has said it is aware of the old facilities and workers grievances saying it was ready to and willing to sit on the negotiations table with the unions to find a solution to the long dragging crisis.
Local reports say with the crisis at hand, for private clinics, consultation fees can cost up to US$40 while in public facilities consultations are free for students and retirees and about $6 for others.
Gabon is one of West Africa's more stable countries with high income from the oil revenues. Despite being made up of more than 40 ethnic groups, Gabon has escaped the strife afflicting other West African states.
Gabon ranks 119 of 177 countries on the UN Human Development Index, which measures indicators including income and access to education and health care.
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