Dozens of doctors and nurses at Tue Tinh Hospital in Hanoi on Wednesday stood in front of the hospital gate with banners asking for their unpaid wages over the past eight months.
The board of directors of Tue Tinh Hospital, which is managed by the Vietnam University of Traditional Medicine, convened a meeting right after the strike, which, however, failed to resolve the issue, according to Le Thanh Binh, head of the hospital’s labor union.
“The leaders only encouraged us to keep waiting for the payment of salary and benefits, and no specific deadline was confirmed,” Binh said
“Gathering with banners to call for the public opinion was our last resort.”
Medical staff at Tue Tinh Hospital have received only half of their monthly salary from May to November last year and have got nothing last December and this month because the hospital has earned zero revenue in the meantime.
Meanwhile, the staff have worked extra hard due the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Medical staff hold banners in front of Tue Tinh Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam to demand their unpaid salaries, January 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
The situation had never happened at the hospital before 2019 when the institution started to become financially independent, according to Binh.
The Vietnam University of Traditional Medicine is currently divided into three units, including the Vietnam University of Traditional Medicine, Tue Tinh Hospital, and the Research Institute of Traditional Medicine, with only Tue Tinh subject to the self-financing model.
“Only 160 employees working for the Tue Tinh unit have been suffering from the business result, while no leaders have had their pay cut,” Binh said, criticizing discrimination among the groups of employees under one same organization.
"Staff having signed labor contracts with the university still receive enough salaries, bonuses, and other benefits."
Kim Thoa, a nurse working at Tue Tinh Hospital, expressed her anger, “How am I supposed to live in the capital city with an income of only VND2.7 million [US$119] per month?”
“I have had to depend on my husband and our parents’ support to raise two children, while many other medical staff have to sell vegetables, run online business, or work as delivery workers to make ends meet.”
|Medical staff hold banners in front of Tue Tinh Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam to demand their unpaid salaries in Hanoi, January 12, 2022. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
The hospital has held many meetings but still failed to come up with a solution so far, according to Thoa.
“I’ve worked at the hospital since 2005, devoted nearly 20 years, and definitely, I want to stay,” the nurse added.
“I just want the hospital leaders to be transparent about its financial situation and how it is running the self-financing model.”
Nguyen Thi Tuyet, a pharmacist at the hospital, also said that they are always rejected for requesting to take either paid or unpaid leave.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reached out to the management board of Tue Tinh Hospital but has not received their response.
On Wednesday afternoon, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long ordered the leaders of both the Vietnam University Of Traditional Medicine and Tue Tinh Hospital to resolve the issue in accordance with Vietnam’s labor code and report the case to the ministry before January 20.