Afghan doctors protest over unpaid salaries amid coronavirus outbreak


HERAT: More than 200 doctors and medical staff took part in protests in the western Afghan city of Herat yesterday, saying they had not been paid for three months while risking their lives to treat coronavirus patients.

Herat, war-torn Afghanistan’s third largest city, has reported a high number of COVID-19 cases since March and its 10 government hospitals have grappled with shortages of testing equipment and protective gear.

“We have been risking our lives to save people, many doctors have been infected too. The government must at least respect us and pay (our salaries) on time,” said Abdul Rauf Rahimi, a doctor in an intensive care unit allocated for COVID-19 cases.

Rahimi was among 78 doctors and over 110 medical staff who took part in the six-hour-long protest before returning to work, saying they did not want patients to suffer unduly.

Ahmad Tawhid Shukohmand, deputy spokesman for the health ministry, said he recognised doctors’ ire over unpaid wages.  —Agencies


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