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Sudanese medics to strike three days a week

November 14 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Protesting doctors in Khartoum (file photo)
Protesting doctors in Khartoum (file photo)

The Sudanese Doctors’ Central Committee has decided to increase the number of weekly striking days from two to three days a week.

In a statement on Sunday, the Committee announced that, after consultations with the members of the General Assembly and the subcommittees, the medics working at the state hospitals in Sudan will down tools three days a week as of 15 November.

According to the doctors, the federal Ministry of Health has ignored their demands and delayed the implementation of the October agreement. Furthermore, the Health Ministry has been silent about the security apparatus’ detention campaign.

The medics, who resumed their strike two days a week since the start of November, only perform life-saving and emergency services on the strike days.

Working conditions

Doctors and medical professionals in various parts of Sudan embarked on an open-ended strike in early October. They demanded protection while working, a pay rise, and better working conditions. A week later the medical staff of 136 state hospitals had joined the action.

After reaching an agreement with the vice-president and the Minister of Health on 20 October, the doctors temporarily called off the strike to give the government more time to implement its commitments.

Two weeks later, the Doctors’ Committee announced the resumption of the strike for two days a week, as “the authorities have not kept their commitments”. The NISS, that had been harassing striking medics before, now began detaining them.

Detentions

Since 31 October, 12 striking doctors, among them coordinators of the Doctors Committee, are being held incommunicado by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum. Two others were detained by security officers in North Kordofan and West Darfur, and transferred to unknown places.

At least 49 other doctors across Sudan have been summoned by the NISS since 27 October, and ordered to report daily to security offices. Several of them have also been threatened with dismissal from their jobs at the state owned hospitals.  


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