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We are being bullied, doctors now claim

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jul 13, 2012
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    [TD="class: createdate"]Thursday, 12 July 2012 22:31 [/TD]

    By The Citizen Reporter
    Dar es Salaam.

    Striking doctors will hold an emergency meeting here today to discuss what the future holds and the challenges they face at work. According to the secretary-general of the Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), Dr Rodrick Kabangila, one of the key items on the agenda will be “bullying of the medical profession”.

    The meeting comes against the backdrop of a three-week doctors’ strike that has paralysed medical services in most public health facilities.

    Dr Namala Mkopi, the MAT president, was charged on Monday with inciting doctors to go on strike. He was also accused of disobeying a High Court order directing the protesting doctors to call off their strike and return to work.

    Today’s meeting will be attended by MAT members from all over the country. It will also discuss the fate of interns who were recently stripped of their provisional registration certificates by the Medical Council of Tanganyika.

    The doctors are also planning a demonstration from Muhimbili National Hospital to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, where they intend to submit their complaints to the authorities.

    The doctors will sport their white coats and well-wishers will be holding white handkerchiefs to signify peace. “We need other health stakeholders to come and join us in this demonstration,” Dr Mkopi said, “because it is for the betterment of the entire health sector.”
    The demonstration offers the doctors an opportunity to condemn, at street level, the abduction and torture of Dr Steven Ulimboka, the chairman of the doctors’ steering committee. He is receiving specialised treatment in South Africa after he was kidnapped and tortured in the course of the strike.

    The doctors will use the demonstration to press for an independent investigation into the attack on their chairman.
    Addressing the nation last month, President Jakaya Kikwete directed defence and security authorities to carry out thorough investigations into the case. In his end of the month address to the nation, the President said: “I want this investigation to be completed as soon as possible so that the truth is known. Tanzanians are not used to such horrible incidents. I know that some people in the government are suspected of masterminding the kidnapping and torture.”

    The president said he was shocked that the government was being implicated in the incident and added that it had no reason to assault the doctor.

    MAT has appealed to the United Nations and the international community to ensure the security of Dr Ulimboka in South Africa. In a letter to the UN, officials of the association said: “…anonymous government sources have confirmed to MAT that a team of assassins has been deployed to South Africa to make sure Dr Ulimboka doesn’t come home alive.”

    The medics also appealed to the UN to also protect other key members of the association. The UN has acknowledged receipt of the letter and promised to address the issues raised.

    A representative of intern doctors, Dr Frank Kagoro, denied claims made recently by religious leaders that they (doctors) refused to apologise to President Kikwete. More than 300 interns are said to have been stripped of their provisional medical certificates.

    The deputy chairman of the Intern Doctors’ Community, Dr Godbless Charles, said the process of recalling them to work was flawed. “We are seeking legal advice on how we can tackle this because we don’t have the exact number of interns affected,” said Dr Charles.

    According to Dr Kagoro, the interns did not receive an official letter asking them to apologise to the President. Their legal panel was to meet yesterday afternoon to decide what to do next.