Head of the Arab Doctors' Union and ex-presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh stated Saturday his backing for the partial strike by Egypt's doctors scheduled for October to demand better wages and working conditions.
"Securing medical facilities, a higher health budget and higher financial incentives are legitimate rights for all doctors and not just unreasonable demands. A partial strike is the next step if demands are not met," said Abul-Fotouh on Twitter.
On Friday, thousands of doctors attended a general assembly meeting of the Doctors' Syndicate in Cairo, where they agreed to hold a semi-open strike starting 1 October.
The doctors' main demands include a minimum wage for medical practitioners of LE3,000 per month ($500), arguing that since some doctors working in state institutions only earn LE100-LE200 ($15-30) per month, almost every doctor necessarily has a private practice.
They also demand security guards are instated inside hospitals, complaining emergency rooms are seeing increased violence. The state budget for healthcare should also be increased to 15 per cent instead of the current allocation of around five per cent. They also want the state to immediately establish a doctors' cadre with a proper system for pay scales and promotions.
President Mohamed Morsi is scheduled to meet with a number of Doctors' Syndicate representatives to discuss their complaints.
Doctors carried out two nationwide strikes in May and September 2011, but did not achieve their demands during negotiations with authorities.