On Tuesday, medical staff at Afrin National Hospital joined Al-Bab and Al-Rai Hospitals in announcing an open strike, except for the emergency ambulance department. The strike will continue until the medical staff’s demands are met, which are to improve their salaries and the region’s medical conditions.
Activists broadcast photos showing the closure of departments inside the Afrin State Hospital following the announcement of the medical, health and service staff going on strike. The demands boil down to increasing staff salaries, improving the reality of medical conditions, and ending discrimination between Syrian and Turkish medical staff in the hospitals.
Medical and health staff at the Afrin National Hospital previously organized a strike to improve their living conditions, as workers suffer from lower wages than their Turkish peers. The state hospital in the city of Azaz is expected to join the strike to protest their low wages, which are similar to the hospitals in rural Aleppo.
On Monday, medical staff at al-Bab and al-Rai hospitals in the eastern countryside of Aleppo began an open-ended strike, except the ambulance department. The strike focused on delayed payment of salaries for about two months and the failure to respond to their repeated demands to improve health workers’ medical and living conditions.
Medical sources confirmed that other hospitals would carry out strike actions, including Azaz State Hospital, in protest against low wages and delayed salary payment. The strikes come amidst demands for local councils to assume their obligations and secure the necessary support for regional hospitals.
The sources indicated that the strikes will continue until the implementation of demands for salary increases commensurate with the high living costs, which have been escalating recently. The strike included the hospitals of Al-Bab and Al-Rai amid the non-payment of employee salaries overdue by 60 days without explaining the reasons for the delay.
Medical officials and al-Bab city leaders earlier issued a joint statement that included demands addressed to the Turkish presidency about the need to increase salaries for Syrian doctors.
The events stressed the rising injustice and marginalization of Syrian medical staff in Turkish hospitals in northern Syria, amid estimates that salaries differ between Syrian and Turkish doctors by 800 percent.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.