Medical Officials Resign as Myanmar’s Military Regime Pressures Medics on Strike

By The Irrawaddy 12 March 2021

Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region – Two of the top officials in Ayeyarwady Region’s Public Health Department resigned their positions on Thursday.

Deputy director-general Dr. Than Tun Aung submitted his resignation to the chairman of the Ayeyarwady Region’s military council, citing his and his family’s health as the reason. He said in his resignation letter that he had transferred his duties to assistant director Dr. Saw Mya Khaing while waiting for approval of his resignation.

Dr. Saw Mya Khaing also submitted his resignation on Thursday, however, saying that he has problems with continuing his duties.

“The military council has been putting pressure on Ayeyarwady Region Health Department heads to re-open hospitals. And the council is also planning to transfer those medical superintendents in Ayeyarwady Region who are participating in the civil disobedience movement (CDM). At the same time there has been criticism from the public. So health department heads have difficulties and they have therefore resigned,” said a source close to the Ayeyarwady Region Public Health Department.

Over 5,000 health workers in the Ayeyarwady Region have joined the CDM since the movement began on Feb. 3, when hundreds of doctors and nurses in Yangon and Mandalay began refusing to work in protest at the military junta’s Feb. 1 coup. The movement and anti-regime protests have now spread across the country and the CDM continues to gain momentum.

While many hospitals remain closed with doctors, nurses and health workers participating in the CDM, free clinics are in operation to provide healthcare services for the public.

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