Specialist Doctors launch an open-ended strike
Specialist Doctors launch today an open-ended strike across Algeria's hospitals to demand higher pay and better resources to enable them to do their work.
The strike would paralyze hospitals causing the postponement of thousands of surgeries and dates of medical examinations, especially as the Ministry of Health neglects their demands, and resorts to justice each time to force doctors to return to their work, with the application of the deduction of salaries.
The protesters insisted on launching their strike, after the third phase of the plan that was prepared by their syndicate to apply the protest movement, which started last March 4, by striking three days in two phases, although the Ministry of health resorted to taking procedures, described by the National Union of Practitioners and Specialists in Public Health, as arbitrary and do not serve the stability of the sector.
Previously, the Minister of Health Djamel Ould Abbas resorted to justice, during the first and second protest movements, for the issuance of a judicial decision which provides for the illegality of the strike, raising the angry of the Secretary-General of the syndicate, who considered that this action is contrary to the jurisdiction of the room that recognizes stopping the strike and not its legitimacy.
The Ministry of Health also resorted to sending instructions to all departments in the Wilayas providing for the deduction from the salaries of strikers, an arbitrary actions initiated by the ministry - according to the union -, starting from the fourth of March.
The strike would lead to a crisis among patients who did not benefit from submitting to the schedule of the medical examinations, which were planned for this month, and thousands of surgeries would also be postponed because of this strike, at a time Algeria prepares to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections, which would contribute in raising the social tension, and the trouble among patients would cause a frustration among the citizens, adding another reason to the reluctance of citizens to vote and giving them another cause to boycott the polls on May 10.
Among the demands of the strikers are higher salaries and the validation of specialist national and international training.
Algeria counts some 8,000 specialists among around 50,000 doctors for a population of about 36 million.