ALGERIA: Justice declares strike of “resident” doctors illegal

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A court in Algiers on Wednesday declared “illegal” the strike, which has been underway for two months in Algeria, of doctors in specialization training, known as “residents”, while strikers and officials were meeting to negotiate, the agency said. APS state.

The court also “ordered the evacuation of the places occupied by the strikers,” said the APS, without further details.

This decision theoretically obliges the strikers to return to work, on pain of being in a position of “abandonment of position” and subject to disciplinary sanctions.

Equivalents of interns in France, these “resident” doctors – about 13,000 in Algeria – are graduates of general medicine and study a medical specialty at the end of a competition.
They demand in particular the repeal of the civil service which obliges them to exercise between one and four years in sometimes remote areas at the end of their long studies (seven years of general medicine + four or five years, depending on specialty), in addition to 12 months of military service, mandatory for all Algerians.

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The main cadres of the Autonomous Collective of Resident Algerian Doctors (Camra), at the origin of the movement, were since the beginning of the morning meeting with representatives of several ministries, including that of Health, and were unreachable.

The court decision on the legality of the strike was expected on Wednesday but the Camra, which ensures to have complied with legal procedures in terms of notice and minimum service, had maintained its participation in the meeting, scheduled for several days.
“The Ministry of Health refrains from making the slightest comment,” said his side said to AFP Slim Belkessam, communication advisor said ministry.

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Tuesday, several hundred of these doctors had organized a sit-in in the compound of the main hospital of Algiers, in order to “increase the pressure on the ministry.” Several of them spent the night in the enclosure of hospital.

On January 3, an attempted demonstration of medical residents in Algiers – where any demonstration is strictly prohibited – was violently dispersed by the police, causing 20 injuries among protesters according to the Camra.

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