Public Sector Doctors Allowed to Work in the Private Sector

At a time when the public health sector is experiencing a worrying shortage of doctors, the National Medical Association has officially authorized, in violation of the law, its members in the public sector to practice in the private sector. At its general meeting, the Medical Association gave university professors the green light to practice twice a week in the private sector and allowed doctors to work there every day after 4 p.m. In the meeting proceedings, the Association stated that it had established a control system that would enable it to verify whether the persons concerned were respecting the established schedules, within the framework of a partnership between the public and private sectors.

A decision that irritated the president of the coordination of the private sector doctors’ union, who stressed that the law prohibits the combination of two functions in the public and private sectors. Dr. Charaf Lahnech added that this situation will impact the proper functioning of health in the public sector. He wonders, moreover, about the reasons for this decision, which is likely to cause disorder in the public sector through the disengagement of some doctors from their primary mission. Moreover, he said, it is difficult to ensure that the fixed schedules are respected by doctors who go to work in the private sector.

The daily Al Massae reported in its Tuesday, February 4 edition that the president of the national union of private sector doctors, Badreddine Dassouli, said the role of the Medical Association was to enforce the ethics of the profession. However, he added, by taking this decision, this decision violates articles 2, 108 and 109 of Law 31.13 which prohibits the plurality of duties. It should also be pointed out that violation of this law is punishable by criminal penalties. Dassouli also criticized the Medical Association and its method of election, while pointing out that private doctors challenge its decisions.

He even went so far as to plan to organize a sit-in in front of his headquarters, or even to request an intervention by the king in the situation. Dr. Dassouli stresses that the Order only covers doctors in the public sector, whose directorates are represented in the Ministry of Health. However, he adds, private sector doctors do not have a similar body to represent them because it was “stolen” from them.

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