Source AP ©

Haiti's largest hospital has to turn away patients because of two-week strike

A two-week strike by janitors and support staff has made Haiti's largest hospital to turn away patients.

Doctors and nurses are not taking part in the protest but say garbage piling up inside Port-au-Prince's General Hospital has made it impossible to practice medicine.

"We can't even use the operating room due to the garbage and unhealthy conditions," said one doctor, Dezard Ulick.

Only homeless patients with nowhere else to go are staying at the hospital.

The striking employees are demanding four weeks' worth of unpaid wages, ambulances and the rehiring of colleagues who recently lost their jobs. They say hospital and government officials have not met with them about their concerns.

Workers held a similar protest last year, at one point removing the corpses of 11 infants from the morgue and laying them out in a courtyard to pressure the government for back wages.

Haiti's cash-strapped government, still reeling from a 2004 rebellion that toppled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has struggled to pay thousands of public employees, many of whom have gone months without a salary.

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