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Gaza Strip hospital cleaners strike for back pay

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Sunday that the strike by Gaza hospital cleaning workers puts the public health in danger. 

"The stoppage of the cleaning companies’ work [in hospitals] is a direct threat to the health of the neighborhood and patients of the hospitals in Gaza due to [the storage of] medical wastage," the ministry said in a written statement. 

The hospital cleaners went on strike to demand their overdue back pay from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Ministry confirmed that 832 cleaners had not received salaries for the last five months.

However, the cleaning stoppage would have dangerous exposure to other diseases in the hospitals, the statement read.

The cleaning crisis would adversely affect 40 surgery rooms, 11 childbirth units, as well as 110 patients in intensive care unit, 113 infants in delivery units and 702 patients getting renal failure treatment, it added.

The statement also indicates that 50 laboratories will be out of service due to medical wastage.

The health ministry has the agreement with 13 cleaning companies.