Sudanese medics end their strike

On Thursday evening, medical doctors on strike in over 130 hospitals in Sudan resumed their work after the Minister of Health agreed to meet their demands.

On Thursday evening, medical doctors on strike in over 130 hospitals in Sudan resumed their work.

The Central Committee of Doctors called off the strike after a meeting with Second Vice-President, Hassabo Abdelrahman and the federal Minister of Health Bahar Abu Garda. The negotiations were mediated by a committee of senior medical consultants.

Dr Hossameldin El Amin, the spokesman for the committee told Radio Dabanga that the Health Minister agreed to meet all their demands, including an implementation mechanism.

He said that they will submit the outcomes of the meeting to the General Assembly of the Central Committee of Doctors on Friday.

In a press conference on Thursday, Health Minister Abu Garda acknowledged the “mistake to distribute medicines and medical equipment worth more than seven billion Pounds to hospitals in Khartoum during the strike”.

He also recognised the “political discrimination concerning the selection of doctors for trainings abroad”, and “problems with the provision of free treatment”.

On 6 October, medical professionals in various cities in the country embarked on an open-ended strike, in protest against repeated attacks on doctors and medical professionals. They demanded protection while working, a pay rise, and better working conditions. A week later the medical staff of 136 state hospitals had downed their tools.

Many Sudanese medical associations supported the action, as well as Sudanese expat doctors in Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

The Sudanese Journalists’ Network also expressed support for the “legitimate demands of the doctors” and called on all media to reflect the causes of the doctors.

The security services however banned newspapers from publishing any news about the strike by forcing editors adopt a line hostile to the striking medics. In addition, the Sudanese security apparatus flooded the social media with confusing and conflicting reports about the doctors’ protest and demands.