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Two public hospitals close in salary protest.

Summary: Employees at government-run hospitals in Kesrouan and Baalbeck announced Thursday the closure of their facilities to all patients, in an escalation of an ongoing protest over delayed wage hikes.

BEIRUT: Employees at government-run hospitals in Kesrouan and Baalbeck announced Thursday the closure of their facilities to all patients, in an escalation of an ongoing protest over delayed wage hikes.

In a statement the Kesrouan hospital employees said the "complete and comprehensive" closure would remain until they received a salary raise in line with the salary scale law passed by Parliament in 2017.

The Fattouh Kesrouan Government Hospital in Buwar made the announcement one day after public hospital employees protesting outside Baabda Palace announced plans to close facilities across the country.

Employees at the Baalbeck Government Hospital announced the continuation of their strike, telling the state-run National News Agency they were standing in solidarity with a nurse who was injured during Wednesday's Baabda protest.

The hospital's employee union head, Emad Yaghi, said the strike was part of a "day of rage" against the delay, according to the NNA.

"We appeal to all concerned parties for fairness, because our situation is very miserable," Yaghi was quoted as saying. "Our [monthly] salaries, which do not exceed LL1 million [$660], aren't enough to cover school fees for our children."

Public hospital employees have gone on routine strikes in recent months, demanding a pay hike in accordance with last year's salary scale law, known as Law 46. Previous strikes included provisions to keep doors open for emergency patients and those in need of vital chemotherapy and kidney dialysis treatments.

But employees decided to escalate their protest Wednesday by closing hospital doors to all patients, including emergency cases, until their demands are met, the state-run National News Agency reported.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:May 18, 2018
Words:310
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