In Myanmar, doctors protest "militarization" of healthcare


myanmar doctors
A group of assistant surgeons wear ribbons in support of the 'Black Ribbon Movement 2015' in Myanmar.
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Dr. Minn Htet Bo

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff in Myanmar are wearing black ribbons to protest the appointments of military personnel in the Ministry of Health.

“The Black Ribbon Movement Myanmar 2015,” which began on Facebook in early August, quickly amassed over 42,000 followers, and on Aug. 12, led the minister for health to drop plans to appoint military personnel to over 300 management positions within the ministry.

Writing for The Diplomat, Stanford visiting scholar Phyu Phyu Thin Zaw said the movement shows the dissatisfaction shared among her fellow doctors about the incursion of the military in the healthcare sector. She said it's also representative of greater injustices seen across Myanmar. 

Four years have passed since the country transitioned from military rule toward democratization, and the Ministry of Health among other civic organizations still see the military exert influence over its operations.

Thin Zaw said she remains optimistic, though, and views the movement as a sign of the reemergence of a proactive civil society. The movement continues on this Facebook page.

The article published in The Diplomat can be found by clicking here.