According to the Independent Union of Public Doctors, Morocco’s public health system is collapsing.
The Independent Union of Public Doctors (SIMSP) has announced that Moroccan public sector doctors will be on strike for five days during August. The scheduled strike comes as a protest against “the Health Ministry’s failure to manage the industry.”
According to the SIMSP, the public health sector is collapsing, and the Ministry for Health is not taking enough action.
Doctors will be on strike August 15, 16, and 19, as well as August 22 and 23, announced SIMSP in a press release.
The strike will involve doctors from public institutions, except those working in emergency units and resuscitation wards.
The boycott will also affect the medical caravans which treat patients located in regional areas, and school health campaigns (due to “the absence of medical and administrative norms”).
Medical examinations in specialized diagnostic centers, and the preparation of medical certificates required for driving licence tests will also be affected by the upcoming strikes..
Public doctors are angry about the working conditions in the sector.
SIMSP wants action to be taken now in relation to “the improvement of work conditions,” and the improvement of patient management “to preserve human dignity and the constitutional right to health.”
The increase in wages, including the payment of additional benefits, and “the provision of security in public health institutions in response to growing verbal and physical attacks on staff,” rank amongst a number of other requests.
Doctors have been protesting on and off since 2017, with strikes gaining momentum this year. On April 29, hundreds of doctors demonstrated outside parliament in Rabat.
“If we don’t protest like this, then the government will never listen, and everything will get worse,” a Marrakech-based female general physician told Morocco World News, requesting anonymity due to employment concerns.
The public medical industry is also dealing with mass resignations. In April, close to 300 doctors resigned in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region citing; “the deterioration of the health system in the Tangier region and the absence of [proper] work conditions in public hospitals.”
In its press release this week, SIMPS draws attention to the fact that over a thousand public sector doctors have resigned. Compounding the staff shortage problems, “only a few dozen doctors have joined the public service, despite over 500 jobs opening up.”
“The Government must hold its promises and respond favourably to our requests in a serious and responsible way,” SIMSP added.