25 Jul 2002

Fiji paramedics threaten industrial action

4:10 pm on 25 July 2002

Fiji's paramedics have theratened to join hospital doctors in a work to rule ahead of staging a full strike.

They say they will take the action unless the government agrees to backdate their pay review to January 2000.

The secretary of the Fiji Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, says his members have been enraged by the government decision to backdate the review only to January this year, which has cost paramedics more than 400-thousand US dollars.

The paramedics, which comprise laboratory technicians, radiology staff, dental officers and pharmacists, will take a secret ballot for strike action if they do not receive a favourable response from the government by Friday.

Doctors have been on a work to rule protest since the beginning of this month with no resolution to their grievances.

Many specialist clinics remain closed while a shortage of beds has been reported at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva where doctors have been forced to send patients back home early.