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Palestinian medical group threatens to step up protests against government

February 27, 2020 at 6:45 pm

Image of Hebron hospital staff striking over unpaid salaries [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

The Palestinian Doctors Association has threatened to take “unprecedented measures” and step up protests against the government, after the Supreme Court ruled to end their strike.

The Supreme Court in Ramallah issued a decision to stop the medical association’s strike for the second time, after a decision was issued last week at the government’s request.

“There will be unprecedented measures, and I hope that the officials will count to ten before they act against the medical association,” said Dr. Shawky Sabha, head of the medical association, during a press conference in Ramallah yesterday.

“The government presents our demands as purely financial, but what we are doing is to demand our human rights some of which have been overdue by six years and more,” he said.

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Sabha explained that there is an acute shortage of staff, equipment and beds, saying, “in 2012 there were 3,300 doctors and in 2019 we had only 2550 doctors, and no staff has been appointed yet”.

He added that new hospitals have been opened but no new medical teams have been hired adding to  the burden of doctors.

Doctors’ demands for pay increases, he explained, are in line with the agreement signed with the government in 2011 which outlined that specialists would receive a 200 per cent raise

while general practitioners would get only 150 per cent.