Outrage! Junior medical doctors stage protest in Haiti

Junior medical doctors took to the streets in Haiti on Monday to protest the decision of the Ministry of Public Health to abolish the monthly allowance of Gourdes 9,000 (One Haitian Gourde=US$0.01 cents).

The doctors, who were trained at private universities and continuing their internship in hospitals, waved placards in support of their claims, urging the government to reverse the decision.

In a notice sent to the Deans of private universities, Dr Lauré Adrien, Director General of the Ministry of Public Health, announced the abolition of the monthly allowance for student doctors trained in private universities and continuing their internship in hospitals

“Considering the difficulties to control the number of graduating students from your universities and having regard to the requirements of the Public Treasury, the Ministry of Public Health and Population is obliged to cut this allowance as of this fiscal year,” Adrien said.

Discriminatory measure

But the Forum of Interns of Private Faculties of Medicine (FIFMEP), which organised Monday’s protest, denounced the decision which it described as “discriminatory, arbitrary and unfair” since it does not concern internal physicians from State universities.

Deans of recognised medical faculties here have expressed surprise at the decision taken by the Ministry of Public Health.

In a note sent to the Minister of Public Health, Dr Marie Gréta Roy Clément, the Minister of Education, Pierre Josué Agénor Cadet and Dr Fritz Deshommes, the President of the Conference of Rectors, Presidents and Directors of higher education institutions in Haiti (CORPUHA), the deans said the decision to award the allowances “to the interns of private universities was taken with the rectorates of the universities concerned (and) this decision cannot therefore be questioned without consultation with the said universities.”

“By taking this discriminatory measure, the Ministry creates a deep uneasiness within the permanent conference of deans and officially recognised medical faculties of Haiti whose mission, essentially, is to strengthen the spirit of cooperation and pooling of resources that exists between the different actors involved in the training of health professionals in Haiti.”