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Cameroon: Doctors start strike with call for Health Minister to resign

Cameroon doctors are in the second phase of their strike action, which will cover three days (from Monday to Wednesday). The peaceful strike was preceded on Sunday by a call from the leaders of the Cameroon Doctors’ Trade Union for the Minister of Public Health to step down.

The call for Mama Fouda’s resignation was made during a press conference on Sunday in Yaoundé. During the press outing, leaders of the trade union denounced the minister’s decision to post them to remote areas of the nation.

 

 

Accusing, the minister of “killing scores of Cameroonians”, the health experts urged Mama Fouda to park and go. It is not a bad idea to post doctors to remote places but what is deplored is the fact that the doctors in town cannot do well in those areas since they will have to treat diseases which are not in their field of specialization, they pointed out.

The doctors argued that most of them have spent several years in town, handling specific diseases. But in rural places, they would be forced to treat cases they do not master well.

The Minister of Public had decided to transfer the leaders of the trade union to distant places, away from town. Whether he wanted to perturb the planned strike action or simply wanted to protect vulnerable Cameroonians, it is up to him to tell the public.

Medical doctors in Cameroon have been at loggerheads with the government for a while now. They are demanding general health insurance coverage ‘for all’, a review of the retirement age of doctors (from 55 years to 65) as well as pay increase.

This phase of the strike was announced earlier this month by the doctors’ trade union (SYMEC) after receiving the backing of the body regulating the activity of doctors in Cameroon (National Medical Council).

Mama Fouda had always considered SYMEC as an illegal group that had no right to organize a strike action of any kind.

In the meantime, doctors handling complicated cases of emergency will have to go to hospital.

Last year there was another strong call for the Minister of Public Health to step down after a woman lost her life and those of her two unborn twins at a reference hospital in Douala. Instead of stepping down, the minister fired the director of  Laquintinie.
 

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Cameroon Concord  is an online publication covering and reporting on  local and world news, sports, entertainment, politics, business, and religious news. Serving Cameroonians .

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