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News > Colombia

Colombia: Duque's Administration Disrespect Health Workers

  • Doctor walking through a hospital, Bogota, Colombia, April 17, 2020.

    Doctor walking through a hospital, Bogota, Colombia, April 17, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @BluRadioCo

Published 17 April 2020

The medical community demands that precarious employment contracts be ended.

Colombia's medical community demanded that President Ivan Duque administration repeal a decree requiring health professionals to attend to the COVID-19 pandemic, although they have poor working conditions.


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"A decree does not force us to work. Nor does a threat of punishment. We are bound by our vocation and responsibility to the people," Isaza said.

After several days of negotiation, authorities and unions did not reach an agreement. Health workers asked the government to modify article 9 of Decree 538, which obligates doctors to treat COVID-19 cases.

"But they have not accepted it, and they have made a mockery of the commitment they made to the doctors," the Colombian Medical Federation President Sergio Isaza said.

For this reason, on Thursday, four health sector unions withdrew from the discussion table they were holding with this Ministry.

"'Without health, there are no people who can work to maintain the economy,' Colombian Medical Federation president Sergio Isaza said."

The health worker's stressed that the Duque administration must remove such an article if it wants to resume negotiations.

The medical community demands also that precarious employment contracts, which are affecting over 90 percent of the country's health professionals, be ended.

Besides, Colombian doctors denounced that some public institutions have not paid them for months.

"The decree did not propose to force them, but to make them willing to attend to the pandemic," President Duque said trying to justify his decision.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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