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Egyptian Doctors' Syndicate suspends two-month partial strike

The union will postpone pressing for demands of implementing a cadre until a new parliament is elected

Ahram Online, Friday 9 May 2014
doctors demonstrating
Archive photo of doctors demonstrating at the medical syndicate (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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Views: 1990

The Egyptian Doctor's Syndicate announced Friday that it will suspend its two-month partial strike after the cabinet agreed on three of their demands earlier this week.

According to statement issued Friday, the doctors will postpone pressing for their main demand, which is the implementation of a work cadre with a proper system of pay scales and promotions, until it's ratified "by the first elected-legislative authority".

Their decision came after an emergency meeting on Friday, which happened in the absence of a large number of doctors. The union however, considered the absence to be their "implicit approval."

Wednesday's cabinet decision amended a law dealing with healthcare employees, offering some of the long-requested demands that have led to medical workers leading partial strikes across the country.

The newly-amended law provides, "periodic training plans" and payment of the tuition fees of all medical workers who wish to get a master's degree in their field and specifies an incentive for those working in emergency and ambulance services.

It also grants a specific risk allowance for medical professions, ranging from LE400-700 ($57-100), to be given gradually over one year.

Doctors have launched intermittent partial strikes against the health ministry since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Dentists, pharmacists and veterinarians have also gone on partial strikes to demand higher wages and improvements in the health care system. 

The Doctors' Syndicate has demanded an increase in doctors' minimum wage as well as bonuses and incentives. Egypt's interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab urged doctors in mid-March to call off their strike for three months in order to allow the government adequate time to address their grievances.

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