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Striking Sudan doctors demand protection from attacks

By AFP

Added 9th October 2016 07:21 AM

In recent weeks, Sudanese media have reported several attacks on doctors by relatives of patients as well as policemen angry about alleged delays in the treatment of fellow officers.

Striking Sudan doctors demand protection from attacks

In recent weeks, Sudanese media have reported several attacks on doctors by relatives of patients as well as policemen angry about alleged delays in the treatment of fellow officers.

PIC:The Salam Centre for Cardiac Surgery on the outskirts of Khartoum, Sudan, on February 20, 2013. The failings of Sudan's public health system have led to a boom in the private sector, which now counts more than 1,400 hospitals nationwide. PHOTO | AFP 

Doctors at Sudanese government hospitals held a nationwide strike on Thursday to demand better facilities, higher wages and protection from security forces.

The Federal Committee of Doctors said medics at government hospitals were handling only emergency cases following the start of the walkout on Thursday morning.

"Reports indicate that the strike is nationwide," the committee said in a statement.

An AFP correspondent saw doctors protesting at several government hospitals in Khartoum, and similar reports came from West Darfur, North Darfur, Jazira and Sennar states.

"Our strike is for the good of patients," and "We want to feel secure while working," were among the slogans on banners carried by doctors in the capital.

In recent weeks, Sudanese media have reported several attacks on doctors by relatives of patients as well as policemen angry about alleged delays in the treatment of fellow officers.

Thursday's action was also in protest at low wages and deteriorating services.

"We are complaining because there is no proper equipment at hospitals," Wafa Ali, a doctor at a south Khartoum hospital, told AFP.

"The hospitals are not properly maintained ... even the emergency rooms are not clean."

Another doctor, Osama Ahmed, said that medical staff had come under increasing pressure in recent years.

"We have been complaining for a long time about the work atmosphere in hospitals," he said.

"We want to feel secure when we work ... Patients too are suffering because there is no proper equipment and that puts pressure on us."

Distressed patients in several hospitals complained as doctors refused to examine non-emergency cases.

"My son has fever from yesterday but doctors are refusing to check him," said Hana Babiker, who had come to a government hospital in an impoverished neighbourhood of south Khartoum.

"Now I have no choice but to go to a private hospital which is very expensive," she said, holding her three-year-old son Mohamed on her arm.

The failings of Sudan's public health system have led to a boom in the private sector, which now counts more than 1,400 hospitals nationwide.

 

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