22 Mar 2013

Tahiti doctors' strike linked to polls, says doctor

11:52 am on 22 March 2013

A former president of the doctors union in French Polynesia says he suspects there is a political motive behind a doctors' strike in Tahiti.

Doctors at several hospitals, including Tahiti's Taaone Hospital, have gone on strike in support of a female doctor who had her salary cut as a condition of gaining a permanent position at the hospital.

Dr Jean-Paul Theron, who now works for the agriculture ministry, says the doctors' action could be aimed at attracting political attention ahead of next month's elections.

"Ninety-nine percent of the doctors at the hospital come from France and they can be afraid that this country becomes a bit more independent, because maybe the salaries won't be the same. And the government at the moment is working to have more independence in this country."