Rabat, Morocco- Since his designation by the Moroccan monarch King Mohammed VI as a Health Minister on January 3rd, 2012, following the adoption of a new constitution in the wake of the Arab spring, Pr. Houcine Louardi’s name was entwined with controversy as his odd and unprecedented decisions sparked uproar among different components of the Moroccan society.
The 61 years old high executive is a former Dean of Casablanca’s College of Health and Pharmacy, a professor of anesthesiology and intensive care, as well as a member of the national assembly of progress and socialism party (PPS).
The roots of the conflicts go back to 2012 when Louardi passed a bill draft to the government allowing the integration of ”technicians” laureates of private schools of paramedical studies as nurses into the public sector, with the move sparking a wide range of protests, followed by students boycotting courses and internships of the public Institutes of Nursing, Health Sciences and Technics( know by its French Acronym ISPITS).
After months of strife, students regained their classes and resumed studies against a ministerial promise to find a convenient solution that would fit students’ expectations and lead to a soothing of the crisis. Nevertheless, a few months later, the Health department brought into existence the so long awaited License, Master, Phd (known by its French acronym as LMD), though banning old laureates from taking part of it. As the one would image, protests flared up as the latter decision was considered by the National Common Committee of Nursing and Health Sciences and Technics students (know by its French acronym as CNC) as an evil plot and an act of vengeance against protestants.
On the sidelines of this new turn of events, Medical students as well as physicians were all but scared of louardi’s so-called “tyranny,” especially as the man forcibly imposed on them a 2 years compulsory service under heavy conditions. In the post-gaze of the decision, physicians and nurses threatened to stop working in emergencies and intensive care units, especially if the Health department keeps its decision.
And the controversy is on, more than ever before…