Algerian security forces have prevented medical students and doctors from attending a demonstration today in the capital Algiers in front of the Mustapha-Bacha Hospital.
The Autonomous Community of Algerian Resident Doctors (CAMRA) denounced the crackdown and “the actions of the police… for no reason while they simply made the trip from afar to attend the national sit-in”.
CAMRA also highlighted how several medical students and doctors were prevented from taking transport to Algiers from the city of Annaba and were forced to get off at the next city of Skikda by train conductors.
Residents in Algiers also noted a number of roads that were closed early this morning making it difficult to reach the hospital.
Earlier this month a sit-in outside the hospital was violently dispersed and protesters were prevented from demonstrating by authorities leading to dozens of injuries.
The medical students were protesting compulsory civil and military services and the poor conditions doctors face when appointed to hospitals.
Dozens of medics were reportedly arrested at the Agha railway station yesterday in Algiers and later released.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Health issued instructions to health directors nationally to withdraw the salaries of resident doctors, pharmacists and dentists who have been on strike for the last three months:
“Despite the efforts of the public authorities to examine and provide concrete solutions to the grievances of residents in the medical sciences through three meetings with the Minister and the installation of an intersectional commission, [medical students] continue to observe strikes.”
The statement further calls on hospital directors to “take the necessary regulatory measures… in accordance with the legislation in force” against doctors who continue to strike and take part in protests.
CAMRA consider this “illegal”. “We can only [withdraw] wages if the strike is illegal and it is not up to the minister to decide whether our strike is legal or not but to give us justice,” member of the national bureau of CAMRA, Dr, Tallib said.