Tuesday, April 23rd 2024

Sittwe hospital grapples with staff shortage due to war-induced exodus



Due to the ongoing military situation, a significant number of staff have left Sittwe general hospital, leading to a shortage of staff at the hospital.


A female staff member, who preferred not to be named, mentioned that Sittwe hospital previously had over 300 doctors and nurses. However, the current count has dwindled to only 40, making it difficult to deliver healthcare services to patients.

 

"Currently, Sittwe only has assistant doctors and nurses. There are no senior doctors left at the hospital. They are working 24 hours a day, due to the shortage of staff. Private patient care is no longer possible," she added.

 

With only 40 staff working around the clock, they cannot offer proper care and treatment to the  patients.


As fighting continues in various parts of  Rakhine State, the districts and townships where the junta's headquarters and military bases are located, are being captured one after another by the Arakan Army (AA) fighters. There is fear that the fighting will also spread to Sittwe, leading many government employees, including health workers, to flee to safer places.


"Not only the health workers in Sittwe, but also other employees in other departments are no longer coming to work. Many  people are also fleeing from Yangon and other localities.

Since artillery shells fell in Sittwe and many people died, the residents are in fear and many  left the town," said a female employee of a pharmacy.

 

Ma Hnin Nwe, a resident of Sittwe, voiced concerns about the shortage of health workers.

 

"There were casualties due to artillery shells falling in Sittwe. The town is currently peaceful, but we are worried about the coming days. If something happens, we have to be concerned about medical treatment. It's not like before, as there is a shortage of doctors and medicines," she added.

 

Narinjara News tried to reach the Rakhine State military junta spokesperson U Hla Thein and Sittwe general hospital in-charge regarding the staff shortage due to the departure of a significant number of employees, but no response was found.


Furthermore, a former Pyithu Hluttaw representative of Kyaukphyu township noted that Kyaukphyu and Thandwe hospitals are also facing the staff shortage.

 

"In Thandwe and Kyaukphyu, some doctors fled to Yangon and  some were transferred. Some alsomtook leave and they did not return to work. In Kyaukphyu, specialized  doctors for  ear, nose, throat, children, etc are not available. Many junior staff also left their jobs. The staff scarcity is observed in  Thandwe also," he said.

 

After the AA fighters captured Pauktaw, Rathedaung and Ponnagyun townships in Sittwe district, many government employees including  health workers and permanent residents fled in fear of potential conflict spreading to Sittwe.

 

The government employees, including health workers, in Ann, Kyaukphyu, Thandwe, and Taungup townships also start fleeing to safer locations following the capture of Ramree township.

 

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