The Nicaraguan crisis worsens: doctors are being fired for attending protesters

Doctors assure that their dismissals are unjustified, and that these are the result of taking care of wounded protesters against Daniel Ortega

The Nicaraguan crisis worsens: doctors are being fired for attending protesters

The civic movement Articulación Leonesa denounced on Sunday, July 29, the dismissal of at least 13 doctors from the Oscar Danilo Rosales Argüello School Hospital. In its press release, the movement states that they were dismissed "for having treated the wounded in armed attacks by the Government." The document states that the injured were demonstrators protesting against the government of President Ortega. However, hours later, the same day, the cardinal of Nicaragua, Leopoldo Brenes, described the situation as reprehensible, referring to the oath that doctors make at the end of their university career.

Leer en español: La crisis nicaragüense empeora: despiden a médicos por atender a los protestantes

For Cardinal Brenes, it is important to remember that the doctors acted with the same solidarity in 1979 with the Sandinista guerrillas. Nevertheless, Cardinal Brenes no longer spoke only of the doctors of the Rosales Argüello Hospital, but he referred to dozens of doctors and nurses who had been unfairly dismissed. The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), in a statement, said that there were more than 40 doctors dismissed from another hospital in the city of León, which set off alarms in the population.

Also read:   Nicaragua: between the national crisis and the presidential fantasy

For the CENIDH, the decision to dismiss the doctors violates "the right to work, and the only responsible for this outrage is President Daniel Ortega, who claims to have public officials subject to his corrupt system," according to the statement.

Former Vice President Sergio Ramírez Mercado, on his Twitter account, reported the dismissed specialists. "Pediatricians, orthopedists, oncologists, gastroenterologists, anesthesiologists, pulmonologists, infectious diseases, nurses, brutally dismissed accused of terrorism to save lives in hospitals, Terrorism removed them from their posts."

The opinion of the dismissed

In an interview with the newspaper La Nación de Costa Rica, the doctor Javier Pastora, who is among the list of dismissed and was head of the department of surgery and endoscopy at the Hospital de León, says that they are being dismissed because "they say we have been in solidarity and support for the people's struggle".  Another affected, Aarón Delgado, oncologist surgeon, said he was notified when he was performing a surgery.

The pediatrician Edgar Zúñiga went a little further in his interview with the Costa Rican newspaper and affirmed that the dismissals are taking place "for thinking differently, (for saying) that in Nicaragua we need democracy, freedom, that the repression and the dead and dialogue".

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) also said that with the dismissal of doctors the government is making a mistake, "as with the measures taken with the INSS (Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security).

In alignment with the ANPDH, the doctor Alejandro Lagos, assures that the dismissals will only bring more crisis to Nicaragua, "the State is failing in its duty to guarantee health. Here in Nicaragua doctors are scarce. According to the international indicator of the number of doctors per inhabitant, we are below that world standard".

The protests in Nicaragua began on April 18 in response to a reform that was intended to be made to the country's social security system. These have become violent and demand the resignation of President Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, who have already been eleven years in power. Protesters accuse them of abuse of power and corruption.


LatinAmerican Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “La crisis nicaragüense empeora: despiden a médicos por atender a protestantes”

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