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Nicaragua: Doctors Fired for treating wounded protesters

Providing medical attention to protesters wounded in the city of Leon, is the reason for the dismissal of eleven doctors, nurses and technical staff of the Oscar Danilo Rosales teaching hospital, denounced the fired doctors.

Residents of Leon protested this Friday for the dismissal of dozens of doctors who treated protesters who were injured during the crisis

Among the dismissed are eight medical specialists, two nurses and a laboratory technician.

They were fired because they treated wounded anti-government protesters and were seen backing their cause, medical sources said Friday.

Dr. Jorge Alemán, dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-León), said that the dismissals are to the detriment of the population.

“What happened is very regrettable because this will undoubtedly have a direct impact on the population; Negative impact against a director or someone not, but in the population,” he explained.

Dr. Alemán affirmed that the most serious thing is that they dispensed with unique personnel in their specialty throughout León, including an oncologist and a pediatric pulmonologist.

“They are dismissing very valuable doctors who have more than 35 years of studies to reach that level, and that unquestionably affects the population in a tacit and direct way,” said Alemán after urging the Ministry of Health, the government agency that runs the hospital, to “reverse these layoffs that will affect a lot the quality, capacity of attention to the population, capacity of training to the medical specialists that form in the hospital “.

The firing bolsters reports that those perceived to back protesters calling for the ouster of President Daniel Ortega were being persecuted by his government and sympathizers.

According to the the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), almost 450 people have been killed and thousands injured during the more than three months of unrest in the country.

Dr. Aaron Delgado

“They did not even let me finish the operation,” said Dr. Aaron Delgado who was told to go to the human resources office in the middle of performing surgery on a woman with breast cancer, and was quickly notified of his termination. “All this because a month ago outside the hospital we treated the wounded from a massacre perpetrated by the government’s paramilitaries.”

A letter given to the dismissed staff reads in part: “This notice hereby notifies you that upon the date listed above, your services are no longer needed at this hospital.”

Dr. Javier Pastora Membreno, who served as head of surgery and endoscopy before being fired, said: “Our crime is having tended to the wounded from the protests or having supported the marches in some way, asking for justice, freedom and a real democracy.”

“We are doctors, not terrorists,” added Pastora who has worked in Nicaragua’s public health system for 33 years.

United States Senator Marco Rubio, who recently said Ortega is an ‘old man’ and labeled his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo ‘crazy’, denounced the wave of firings in a tweet.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js‘More criminality from the regime in #Nicaragua. Doctors are being fired from their jobs in #Leon Nicaragua because they treated teenagers injured by paramilitary gangs working for #Ortega and Murillo. #SOSNicaragua.’

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.