Log in with your email address username.


Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Medicos in thick of Paraguayan protests

Doctors and medical students in Paraguay not only joined recent pro-democracy demonstrations in the nation’s capital Asunción, but many were at the forefront of attending protestors wounded by trigger-happy riot police.

The tiny landlocked South American nation sank into violent chaos in the last days of March (and into April) after its President Horacio Cartes, a tobacco and soft-drink mogul, moved to trash the country’s constitution in order to hang onto power.

A secret meeting of Senators voted to change the constitution that currently forbids a president to seek re-election after a single five-year term.

Cartes’ term expires next year.

The vote did not take place on the Senate floor but behind closed doors.

Once news broke of the clandestine meeting and its dubious result, riots broke out in the capital.

Paraguayans spent more than 30 years under the cruel dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner and now many fear their country is headed for another tyrannical reign.

Congress was set on fire and riot police resorted to rubber bullets in a bid to control protesters.

But in an even more brutal show of force, police stormed an opposition party’s offices and shot dead 25-year-old Rodrigo Quintana who was trying to flee them.

Despite initial reports the man was killed with rubber bullets, it was later revealed the police used real bullets to shoot him in the back.

The incident has sparked even greater outrage among the general population.

Dr Herminio Ruiz, the doctor who attended Quintana, said the young man had received a blow to his head.

Other medicos were first on the scene to help injured protestors, despite authorities dragging many away.

One medical student, Juan Andrés del Puerto, who joined the protests and subsequently gave aid to others, told reporters on the scene: “I think this country deserves politicians who genuinely respect the constitution.”

The President has called for calm, but the opposition has accused him and his co-conspirators of staging a coup on the nation’s democracy.

Chris Johnson