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Pressure mounts…

Medical and Dental Association damns physical assault on female doctor 

April 16, 2021

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma 

The Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA),has in a press statement condemned the physical assault on one  of their members, Dr. Catherine Jackson Cole, by  senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. 

It could be recalled that on Tuesday, 13th of April, 2021, Doctor Catherine Jackson Cole was assaulted by senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The video of incident went viral and attracted the anger of colleague junior doctors who had called for the immediate resignation of the Permanent Secretary of the ministry and the deputy minister as well. They also threatened to down tools if the issue was not treated with the utmost seriousness it deserves.

In a press statement dated 14th April, the Sierra Leone Medical and Dental Council described the incident as an ugly action done by key officials of the MOHS, which they deemed totally unacceptable for their female colleague of such a noble profession to be assaulted publicly.

“We condemn the assault on our member in the strongest possible terms and our hearts are with our colleague and family at this time. Unfortunately, the intimidation of doctors by key officials of MOHS is not new. For instance, doing wrong or inappropriate postings, diverting opportunities, writing letters threatening doctors who are demanding a well-structured and efficient healthcare system in our country, Sierra Leone,” they stated.

The association stated that members are working day and night (24 Hours) more than the required time for a civil servant to ensure maximum healthcare. 

They further stated that they are delivering service to the people of Sierra Leone even with the extremely low number of doctors in the country, less motivation for their extra work, slow progress in post graduate training, several welfare issues, unhealthy working environment and a poorly structured and inefficient healthcare system. 

They also draw public attention to their last strike action in which the government made promises to address perennial issues affecting the health sector, but most of those promises are yet to be addressed.

Meanwhile, other stakeholders including the Health Reporters Network have condemned the action of the Ministry officials,thus demanding a speedy investigation of the issue and appropriate action taken.

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