As doctors across Algeria continue their open strike to protest low wages and poor working conditions, a video showing surgeons conducting brain surgery using mobile phone lights after their hospital plunged into darkness has caused outrage, further igniting the wrath against a heavily subsidized yet underperforming health sector.
The video of doctors using lights of their mobile phones to complete the brain surgery went viral on social media. The operation took place in a hospital in the city of Béchar in south-western Algeria where a power cut threatened the life of a patient amid surgery had it not been for the mobile phone lights.
The incident caused outrage among Algerians who decried the deplorable conditions in health facilities in the country.
Many Algerians protested at the lack of emergency back-up power in case of electricity cut in the gas and oil rich country.
Since November, the independent workers’ association “Collectif Autonome des Médecins Résidents Algériens” (CAMRA) initiated weekly sit-ins at several hospitals across the country and even declared an open-ended strike in early January.
The government responded to the strike of doctors, pharmacists and medical students with police violence further igniting the protesters’ wrath against the government’s un-held promises.