Ministry backs down on move to appoint Tatmadaw doctors

NAY PYI TAW — The Health Ministry has backed down on a plan to appoint hundreds of Tatmadaw physicians after protesting government doctors said the transfers would affect their opportunities for career advancement.

Doctors and other medical professionals at government facilities had protested against the planned transfers of about 300 Tatmadaw physicians by wearing black ribbons on their duty coats.

“We had planned to appoint more people from the Ministry of Defence, but we won’t go ahead with the plan since it’s against the wishes of most people in the medical field,” Health Minister U Than Aung told Reuters newsagency on August 12

He was speaking a day after about 100 medical professionals wearing black ribbons gathered outside the 1000-bed hospital in Nay Pyi Taw to show support for a growing ‘Black Ribbon Movement’.

Similar events had also occurred in Yangon and Mandalay.

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“We are bitterly disappointed about this news because it means we now have no chance of fulfilling our career hopes and desires,” an assistant doctor who asked not be named told Frontier at the protest.

Images of doctors wearing black ribbons had appeared on Facebook, as well as posts condemning the move.

Meanwhile, the reported transfer of 300 Tatmadaw officers of captain’s rank and above to the Home Affairs Ministry for service in the Myanmar Police Force has also come under criticism.

“I want to resign,” a Special Branch officer who did not want to be named told Frontier, amid reports that some police officers have already quit in protest at the mass transfer.

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