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Tue 6 Nov 2007 10:46 AM

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Doctors threaten to strike over pay

Thousands of doctors in Kuwait hold protest demanding gov't triple salaries to stop exodus of talent.

Thousands of doctors in Kuwait are threatening strike action if demands for improved salaries is not met, claiming that the government must step in to stem the increasing number of doctors leaving the Gulf Arab state to work abroad.

Doctors staged a demonstration at the headquarters of the Kuwait Medical Association (KMA) on Monday in an effort to convince the government to triple doctors' wages.

“We want an increase in salaries immediately or else we will proceed with Plan C [to stop duties] as a sign of protest,” Dr. Ahmad Al-Fadhli told the Kuwait Times daily.

“We don't want to resort to this harsh move because it will hurt not just our profession but the country as a whole, so we need immediate action.”

Over 230 Kuwaiti doctors have resigned from their posts over the last four years to seek higher wages in neighbouring Gulf countries.

Doctors' salaries in the UAE are more than four times that of their Kuwaiti counterparts, according to Al-Fadhli.

He said doctors working in the UAE earn around 6,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($21,683) per month, in addition to 3,640 dinars in accommodation allowance.

“We don't want more doctors leaving Kuwait to work in other GCC countries.” said Al-Fadhli, quoted the newspaper. “We need to hold on to Kuwaiti talent.

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