SULAIMANI – Healthcare workers, administrative staff and physicians at Sulaimani’s Hiwa hospital for cancer patients, returned to their work on Wednesday (June 16) after two days of being on strike against chronic payment delays they are owed for working double shifts.
Abandoned by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), patients from Hiwa Cancer Hospital in Sulaimani are struggling to survive from deadly cancer dealing with medication shortages.
During a two-day strike, cancer patients had left their bed and gathered outside the hospital in solidarity with healthcare workers praising them for providing health services with dedication despite not been granted with benefits.
The hospital’s administrative staff and healthcare workers at the hospital claim that they have not received their benefits for the last six months.
“We are worried about the safety of the patients from Hiwa hospital, we will go back to our work,” one oncologist said after futile pensions strike.
One patient told Zhyan News Network "I am so happy the hospital returned to service, because patients need the hospital and the help of the doctors."
There is also a shortage of medicine provided free of cost and patients say they are unable to afford to buy them elsewhere. Pembrolizumab and Pertuzumab are the two specific drugs which the hospital struggles to provide and their prices range from $1,200 to $3,200 despite the poor quality.