Sudan: Doctors dismissed or detained, more strikes ahead
(UPDATE 21:00) The federal Ministry of Health has dismissed 42 doctors after accusing them of participating in the nationwide strike. Seven doctors have been detained by the security apparatus.
(UPDATE 21:00) The federal Ministry of Health has dismissed 42 doctors after accusing them of participating in the nationwide strike in hospitals. The number of doctors detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) without charge has risen to seven.
Meanwhile, 33 doctors have been summoned to appear at the offices of the NISS in various states. The chair of the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, Ahmed El Sheikh, informed Radio Dabanga that these doctors “are summoned daily at 10am to appear at security service offices”. Around 10pm they are allowed to return home.
“This issue has shifted from an administrative and medical issue of the Ministry of Health to the dossier of the security apparatus,” El Sheikh added.
The union asked strikers to not respond to provocations
The Central Committee released a statement that the nationwide strike is currently called off. Doctors started practicing their work in hospitals on Thursday. The committee plans to resume their strike this Sunday and Monday.
In response to the detentions by the NISS, the Doctors' Union called on its supporters not to respond “to the provocations by various actors”, and to continue the scheduled strike until their demands are met.
A spokesman told this station this week that they “will continue to down tools two days every week throughout the month. Emergencies, critical situations, and intensive care treatment in the wards will be continued.”
The strikers demand protection while working, a pay rise, and better working conditions. Protest spread across Sudan and in October the medical staff of 136 state hospitals had joined the action.
On 20 October, weeks after various states witnessed strikes in their hospitals, the Union and the Ministry of Health reached an agreement and the protests subdued. But the doctors are unhappy with the government's failure to meet its pledges and decided to improve the working condition in hospitals.