Hundreds of doctors submitted their resignations to condemn poor working conditions in the health sector.
The minister said that 2018 was a record year for recruiting doctors. He added that the ministry is planning to invest MAD 16 billion in 80 projects, including the opening of new health facilities and university hospitals across Morocco.
On Tuesday during a Parliament session at the House of Councillors, Doukkali called for ways to end the crisis in the sector.
He also said that recruiting doctors under contracts might a solution to end the crisis.
Doukkali’s statement comes on the heel of months of strikes by teachers recruited under contracts, “contractual teachers.” The teachers have been striking to call on the government to hire them in the public sector.
On Sunday, April 28, the contractual teachers decided to suspend their strike for the interest of children to avoid a “blank year” of not teaching.
The minister also reassured doctors that the government would engage in continuous negotiations with labor unions in the health sectors, including the independent union.
In a statement to the national radio, the minister also vowed that his ministry is currently holding talks with the Ministry of Finance regarding a possible wage increase to achieve a “solution as soon as possible.”
Health sector problems an ongoing issue
In 2018, the government came under pressure from doctors who condemned a lack of health facilities and equipment.
The outcry of doctors and hundreds of Moroccans led King Mohammed VI to give speeches calling on the government to increase their efforts to find a just solution to improve the public health sector.
The King urged the government to prioritize the health sector in the 2019 Finance Law after a report from the Court of Auditors detailed problems in the health sector.
In addition to the health sector, the report also noted irregularities in many projects and numerous projects that were never completed.
In response, the Ministry of Finance increased the annual budget for the health sector slightly. The government allocated MAD 16.3 billion ($1.7 billion), up MAD 1.6 billion from the 2018 bill.
Throughout the first quarter of 2019, however, doctors have been arguing that the sector needs more improvement.
On Monday, dozens of doctors rallied in Rabat for better wages and working conditions. The protesters will continue their strike wearing black to represent their situation.