The Independent Authority calls for sparing the health sector from union disputes and ensuring health rights

The Independent Commission for Human Rights “Board of Grievances” followed with great concern the escalation steps that the Doctors Syndicate announced its intention to begin implementing today, September 12, according to a statement it issued yesterday, including “not all doctors, including managers, going to their workplaces at all times.” Ministry of Health facilities and hospitals, and the government must bear its responsibilities.” Which, if implemented, will lead to the cessation of government primary health care, from which hundreds of thousands of citizens benefit, and the violations it could lead to that affect the citizen’s right to the highest attainable level of health, especially for those with chronic diseases, and the rescheduling of surgical operations for patients. Already late, this increases their suffering and may worsen their health condition.

While the Commission affirms that the right to organize unions, peaceful assembly, organize strikes, express opinion, and other peaceful protest steps are among the basic rights stipulated in the Palestinian Basic Law, these rights must be exercised taking into account a number of other basic rights, especially The right of citizens to the highest attainable standard of health and their right to life. This has been confirmed by the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization that exercising the right to strike in the health sectors must not affect groups that need emergency health care and/or cannot be postponed, or lead to compromising the health and safety of citizens.

The Commission considered that the union dispute between the Doctors Syndicate on the one hand, and the government and the Allied Health Professions Syndicate on the other hand, must be resolved through dialogue, investigation and mediation committees, or through submitting complaints to the competent authorities.

Accordingly, the independent body demanded the following:

1. The necessity of opening a rapid, serious and real dialogue to resolve this union dispute in a way that preserves citizens’ health rights and dignity, and in a way that also ensures the necessary appreciation and respect for members of the Medical Syndicate and all workers in the health sector.

2. The need to expedite the completion of the implementation procedures for Decree Law No. 31/2018 regarding medical and health protection and safety, including special rules and regulations and medical protocols, and the formation of committees and the establishment of funds stipulated in the law.

The Authority expressed its readiness to foster and facilitate a constructive dialogue between the parties in order to come up with a balanced formula to resolve the dispute causing this strike, and to preserve health and union rights

Source: Maan News Agency