Doctors and health workers in Mongolia are now demanding a wage increase of no less than 50 percent, following the successful pay raise campaign by public school teachers.
Seeing that teachers managed to make the government start their currently ongoing study for increasing their minimum wage after threats to strike, doctors seemed to have been motivated to stand up for their rights. A few dozen representatives from the Mongolian Health Workers’ Union (MHWU) held a press conference on September 15, announcing that they have submitted letters of demand for a pay increase to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, Cabinet, Parliament, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Health.
“We can no longer endure tightening our belts,” head of MHWU B.Myagmar told the press.
He said that over 20,000 health service personnel from nurses and midwives to paramedics and therapists have signed the petition so far.
Reportedly, 11,357 nurses and 9,563 doctors provide healthcare to Mongolia and the average monthly salary of doctors is around 558,000 MNT to 634,000 MNT, while nurses get a salary of 405,000 to 471,000 MNT. Doctors stressed that they are constantly under pressure as they have to take full responsibility of risks and errors that occur due to staffing issues and the lack of human resources.
The health sector hasn’t increased jobs since 2000 and health service personnel wages haven’t been given a single pay rise since 2014, according to the union.
“It’s impossible for a family of doctors and nurses to apply for a mortgage loan simply because they can’t afford it. Their income doesn’t meet bank credit requirements,” said Ch.Narantuya, the deputy head of MHWU.
MHWU threatened to start a demonstration and strike if they don’t get a response by Friday, September 22.
According to a study conducted by MHWU this year, the health sector is facing a staffing crisis as they need up to 55 percent of additional staffing, specifically more than 1,700 specialists. Experts analyzed that a single health service personnel in Mongolia are asked to perform tasks that should be done by two to three personnel.
In March 2014, former Minister N.Udval reported that doctors perform monthly labor worth 2.7 million MNT and nurses 1.6 million MNT.
Based on these statistics, doctors strongly believe that they require a pay rise of at least 50 percent.