Doctors Strike in Myanmar Is Deeply Hurting The Myanmar Healthcare System

In Myanmar, the medical workers on the frontline are in a bad position.
They have to treat their patients as well as support a military government that is brutally cracking down on the people of Myanmar.
After the coup on February 1st,2021, some hospitals closed their doors. Nurses, doctors, and other medical workers protested and did not return to the hospital.
Patients then have to rely on private hospitals, but most of them cannot afford to go to a private hospital.
Patients don’t blame the medical workers for the situation. They blame the military. Even if the patients have cancer, they can accept it. They feel that having a democracy is more important than their personal healthcare.
One of the things that have been affected most by the coup is the healthcare system in Myanmar.
A lot of doctors have become of the country’s civil disobedience movement. Public employees and other state officials will not work under the Myanmar regime.
80 percent of all hospitals and clinics are part of the Myanmar healthcare system. They
provide subsidized care for the 65 million Myanmar people.
Dr. Mitchell Sangma, a worker for the Medicins San Frontiers humanitarian organization, believes that it is a grim situation. She thinks that the public health system is almost at a point of collapse.
Myanmar doctors feel that they don’t have much choice.
Kyi Kyi is a Mandalay, Myanmar doctor that has not worked for nearly three months because she had been on strike. She will not work as long as the Myanmar junta is in power.
But doctors feel they have little choice. He does not recognize the authority of the government in any way.
A few weeks after the coup, Kyi did offer a free consultation at public sector hospitals. She soon realized that this was too risky. She started seeing soldiers stationed around the hospitals, waiting for the doctors to arrive.
There have been reports that the Myanmar military has been going after the healthcare workers on strike. They have raided voluntary facilities as well as arrested and detained medical workers. They have also beaten them.
Kyi thinks that medical workers have to be really careful. After the coup, they were all forced to leave their government accommodations near the hospital. They have to stay with friends. Medical workers are very scared.
Some government sector healthcare facilities that are open have been occupied by soldiers.
The Myanmar military has been begging some doctors to come back, especially senior department heads in the major hospitals. The military has had little success in getting doctors to get back to work.
Doctors have made some effort to run basic operations inside poorly staffed wards and in hospital car parks.
The private hospitals in Myanmar cities have been completely overwhelmed. Some tried to pay a part of their patient bills, but that had to stop soon.
Joy Singhai, the Myanmar Head of Delegation for the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that most of the population does have access to vital, life-saving care.

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