Meanwhile, nurses and healthcare technicians are planning to strike on November 14.
Rabat – Today is the second day of the nationwide strike by Morocco’s public sector doctors to protest the government’s “incomprehensible” approach to their demands.
Moroccan doctors took to the streets on November 4 and 5 wearing black vests to mourn the state of the country’s health system.
The Independent Union of Public Sector Doctors (SIMSP) called for the national strike in mid-October to denounce the shortage of medical professionals in Morocco and to protest working conditions.
The strike excludes doctors working in resuscitation, emergency, and COVID-19 hospitalization departments, the union said.
The regional office of SIMSP in Fez-Meknes stated on October 31 that the government did not “lift a finger” following the union’s communications. The union called on colleagues to express their dissatisfaction with the “marginalization and procrastination” of their demands.
Morocco’s public sector doctors’ demands in the strike are the same as those of last year. In August 2019, health professionals called via several demonstrations for better working conditions, including heightened security and the improvement of patient management, as well increased wages.
The regional office of SIMSP in Casablanca-Settat, like others, urged the strike with the aim to “escalate” Moroccan doctors’ struggle for better conditions. The office recalled their sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19, as the government continues to pursue the “policy of obstinacy.”
Meanwhile, Moroccan nurses and healthcare technicians pledged to hold a national sit-in on November 14 to protest their working conditions as well.
The upcoming strike is set to take place in front of the Ministry of Health’s headquarters in Rabat.
Health professionals of the Ibn Zohr Hospital in Marrakech protested on August 17 against the lack of beds for patients and necessary equipment in the fight against COVID-19, as well as a “lack of safety conditions.”
The protests paid off and resulted in a quick move from Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb. The official traveled to Marrakech two days later to announce the creation of a field hospital to alleviate pressure on hospitals in the ochre city.
Throughout the health crisis, the government allocated MAD 3.135 billion ($342 million) to the health sector from the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19.
King Mohammed VI created the fund on March 15 with an initial value of MAD 10 billion ($1.1 billion) to support the country’s medical response and to address the negative social and economic repercussions of the crisis.