Moroccan Public Hospitals to Face Crippling New Strikes

Rabat – A union of public sector doctors plans to launch “Doctors’ Week of Anger” October 15-20, calling for strikes October 11 and 26.The secretary general of the Independent Union for Public Sector Doctors, Almountadar Alalaoui, told a local newspaper,  “The public health sector in Morocco is witnessing a structural crisis … leading to the deterioration of health services.” Alalaoui said the union will strike Thursday, October 11, and Friday, October 26. Only intensive care units and emergencies will be excluded from the strike. The union will also refuse to do school health campaigns and autopsies. Alalaoui indicated that the “Week of Anger” is a reaction to the ministry’s lack of response to the demands of doctors from a series of protests in the summer. General physicians are protesting for the government to give employees at all pay grades the reference number 509, which enables them to advance to higher grades. Doctors also want the government to create two new pay grades above the current highest grade.The doctors also seek more resources, asking for more internship and residence posts, for adequate medical and lab equipment. They also complain of two many doctors resigning and the closure of some health services.Doctors plan to refuse to update periodic reports, patients’ records, and statistical data. They will also boycott administrative meetings and trainings. Doctors have agreed, however, to sign birth and death certificates.General physicians, early last September, began rounds of protests calling for a quick response to their demands.

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