The World Medical Association (WMA) has urged the President of Honduras to open a dialogue with demonstrators who have been protesting to highlight their opposition to proposed health and education reforms there.
The demonstrations, led largely by doctors and teachers against the privatisation of education and public health services, have resulted in violent clashes between police and protesters. While authorities announced the suspension of the ratification of the reforms in recent weeks, the protests have continued.
In a letter to the President of Honduras, Mr Juan Orlando Hernandez, WMA President Dr Leonid Eidelman said he is very concerned to note what is described as the “extreme repression” of these demonstrations by the police, including using tear gas. He has urged the President to bring an immediate end to the violence against protesters and to conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the use of violence.
“We are also informed that the physical safety and life of leaders and members of the board of directors of the medical school of Honduras have been threatened,” said Dr Eidelman. “We deplore the fact that physicians’ leaders are exposed to threats to their life."
Dr Eidelman urged the President to speak with protestors to find a prompt solution to the concerns.