JAKARTA - Myanmar's military leader says his regime will take firm action against government medics who refuse to work for the military rulers.
This was conveyed by General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar's military leader and coup leader, while denouncing the fact that a third of public hospitals in Myanmar have been out of service for nearly three weeks.
Two weeks ago, he had asked the medics who were on strike to return to work. However, the medical personnel ignored his request and continued to initiate a strike action that developed into an action of national disobedience (CDM).
However, as the number of health workers increased on strike, an increase in the number of hospitals could not operate as usual. This makes the regime stifling.
"357 hospitals out of a total of 1,262 in Myanmar have been closed and only 778 are operating while 27 cannot provide treatment even though they are opened," Myanmar military leader General Min AUng Hlaing told The Irrawaddy.
"Doctors and nurses who are not disciplined will be punished according to the Civil Service Act," he continued.
Under Myanmar law, the maximum measure against civil servants is dismissal. No prison sentence can be applied.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Health who joined the CDM Dr. Win Ko Ko Thein said that the threats issued by General Min Aung Hlaing showed the desperation of the military regime.
"Now the CDM has brought it to a halt. As long as doctors and nurses don't return to work, they (the regime) cannot restore the public health care system here, "he said.
Dr Win Ko Ko Thein said there were no signs that medics would return to work from the national strike, despite threats of punishment and the junta must find other solutions.
“They can't arrest all the medics. If so, there is bound to be a complete system crash. The root cause of the whole problem is a coup, "he said.
Myanmar health workers are at the forefront of widespread CDM action. They started the strike on February 3 or just two days after Myanmar's February 1 military coup.
Their strike action also received support from various parties, both civil servants and private sector, thus forming the CDM action as resistance and resistance to the military coup.
Although many hospitals are not functioning, doctors and volunteers who have joined the CDM have opened many free clinics to support the protests and anti-military causes of Myanmar. As well as for citizens of Myanmar who need general health care.
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