Updated at 17:39,28-11-2020

Belarusian doctors threaten with mass resignation

Euroradio

Belarusian doctors threaten with mass resignation
Medical workers protesting in August 2020 / Euroradio​
The mass resignation of medical workers is imminent in Belarus, according to the collective appeal published in the "White Coats", the Telegram channels of protesting doctors. Doctors, nurses and support staff at medical institutions are planning to quit their jobs in protest to the ongoing repressions.

"In an atmosphere of unprecedented lies and lawlessness, we no longer have the moral strength to remain in the same format of calls for sanity via video messages and signature collection," says the statement.

The doctors note that the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness in today's Belarus is very depressing for them. They have no right to strike, so resignation is the only thing they can do.

They plan to submit resignation applications during this week - from 16 to 22 November. According to the Labor Code, they can resign within 30 days. "During this time the state and [hospital's] administration will have time to find a solution - to meet the people's demands, or [they can also] invite strikebreakers to work, because, as we are told, we are all easily replaceable... even during the [COVID-19] pandemic," the medics added in their statement.

Those who can not quit for objective reasons, including young professionals, are recommended to choose the 'Italian strike':

- not to work without proper working conditions (require regular renewal of personal protective equipment, daily change of work clothes, limited working hours and number of patients);

- work full-time or less;

- issue sick leaves and prescriptions based on patient needs rather than false statistics;

- treat patients in the hospital for as long as it is necessary for their recovery, rather than as planned;

- submit only real data for reporting.

The physicians have voiced their demands before. Above all, they demand an end to police violence and a new presidential election.

About five thousand people have signed up to these demands.

Medics are actively participating in the current street protests. For example, academician and cardiology legend Alyaksandr Mrochak was dismissed as director of the National Research Center for Cardiology for supporting the protesters.