Minister relocates two Military Hospital doctors
The two doctors in question, Dr. Tamim Hamoud Al-Shami and Dr. Osama Ahmed Abdulqader, are spokesmen for the hospital’s doctors, who have been protesting for increased salaries.
Al-Shami questioned the reasons behind his transition, saying, “The administration of the Military Hospital informed the Minister of Defense that we are uncommitted, seditious and tend to create disorder in the hospital.”
He also said, “They stopped paying our salaries four months ago and prevented us from entering the hospital.”
Al-Shami claimed the transfer was illegal, as they weren’t warned of the move in advance. Abdulqader was also relocated, a move which happened while he was abroad with his son who was undergoing a medical operation.
According to Dr. Mokhtar Al-Haddi, who works in the hospital, Al-Shami had received much publicity in response to his outspoken demands for doctors’ rights. As a result, he lost the support of the hospital’s administration, the Ministry of Defense and the chief of staff.
“Due to Al-Shami’s demands, we now have some rights,” Al-Haddi said. “He also formed the Supreme Medical Council, but the Ministry of Defense refused it because it would have been composed of doctors elected by the other doctors in the hospital.”
It is likely, said Al-Haddi, that Al-Shami will be referred to the Military Justice Council to determine the outcome of the dispute.
“Al-Shami was kidnapped in front of the hospital’s door by the Military Intelligence,” Al-Haddi said.
He said other doctors were threatened with similar treatment were they to continue to demand adequate rights.
Al-Shami said he was not summoned by Military Intelligence in the hospital but was kidnapped arbitrarily.
It has been reported that doctors’ struggles for rights in the Military Hospital have continued for more than six years, yet both the defense minister and the chief officer have consistently ignored the doctors.
Some salaries were raised for certain doctors after eight months of protests.
Ali Ahmed Al-Asemi, head of the Lawyers Union, said all the actions taken against Al-Shami are illegal.
“This case is politically motivated and against the law,” Al-Asemi said. “The manager of the Military Hospital had to warn Al-Shami and his colleague orally as well as in writing.”
Al-Asemi said Al-Shami has in no way broken the law.
“Those responsible for this case must be prosecuted because they kidnapped Dr. Al-Shami, prevented him and his colleague from working and moved them from work.”
He cited Article 48 of Yemeni law, which stipulates that Yemeni citizens cannot be arrested unless they have been charged.
“The two doctors are members of the army, and sending them from the Military Hospital to the Health Ministry is not legal, as any action against them must come in line with military law,” Al-Asemi said.