Myanmar Junta Demands Details About Mandalay Medics and Patients
By The Irrawaddy 21 March 2022
Myanmar’s junta has ordered private hospitals and clinics in Mandalay to hand over information about doctors, nurses and patients, according to striking health workers.
The order, according to medical sources in Mandalay, targets striking doctors and nurses to check if they are working at private hospitals and clinics. The details about patients will tell the regime who was injured in combat.
One striking doctor said: “There might be a reason why the regime asked about patients. Private clinics traditionally do not provide treatment in criminal cases. Perhaps, the regime thinks injured resistance fighters may seek treatment at those clinics and can arrest them.”
The commander of the Central Command Major General Ko Ko Oo allegedly gave the order on March 12. Sources told The Irrawaddy that private hospitals and clinics are already handing over details on doctors, nurses and patients to the regime.
An administrative official at a private hospital said: “We were asked to give details about doctors and other hospital staff and we have given the lists. We were told last week to inform the authorities immediately when we receive patients injured in accidents. And we were also told not to treat them.”
In the wake of the coup in February last year, medical staff were the first to start the civil disobedience movement (CDM), refusing to work for the regime. The regime is targeting striking medical staff because the movement remains strong and many public hospitals and health care centers remain closed.
One striking doctor said: “We joined the CDM because we will not work under the regime. So it is putting additional pressure on us. The health ministry provided the most protesters in Mandalay. The regime wants to ruin the lives of the striking health staff.”
Under regime pressure, some private hospitals and clinics in Mandalay have sacked CDM doctors, nurses and other health staff. A hospital source said: “They have sacked CDM staff to appease the regime.
There have also been reports that the regime revoked the licenses of 16 senior physicians. The Irrawaddy was unable to independently verify those reports.
“Only the Myanmar Medical Council is authorized to issue or revoke medical licenses. There are rules governing it. The regime is lying because people don’t support it,” said a doctor from Amarapura Township.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, 67 healthcare staff, including 221 medical students, remain under detention, and some 600 medics are in hiding from junta arrest warrants.
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