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Three health sectors in Egypt begin partial strike

Doctors, dentists and pharmacists join hands in partial strike to demand suitable basic salaries; medical emergencies and urgent health services excluded from strike

Ahram Online, Wednesday 26 Feb 2014
Doctors strike
File Photo: Chain of doctors protesting against the management of the whole healthcare system, November, 2012 (Photo: Al-Ahram Weekly)
Views: 1623
Views: 1623

In a first joint effort, Egypt's doctors, dentists and pharmacists began a partial strike on Wednesday to oppose a February presidential decree aiming to regulate the status of doctors employed in state hospitals and institutions.

The doctors on strike are requiring an increase in their basic salaries rather than a bonus being added to their existing salaries, as ordered by the presidential decree. They are also demanding the implementation of the financial and administrative cadre approved in May 2012 by the Doctors' Syndicate general assembly, which proposes a suitable system of pay-scales and promotions.

According to a statement issued by the striking doctors' coordinating committee, participants affirmed that their strike – which they promised to render effective – will include all doctors employed in hospitals run by the Ministry of Health.

The statement added that the striking doctors will continue to provide emergency services such as urgent operations, dialysis, intensive care, nurseries for the newborn and any other health condition requiring urgent treatment.

"The strike will also not include vaccinations or the issuance of birth or death certificates," the statement continued.

Egypt's doctors have undertaken a number of partial strikes since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak. As of 1 January 2014, they have additionally staged by-weekly strikes to demand higher salaries and increased government investment in healthcare services. 

The Doctors' Syndicate general assembly last Friday even discussed the possibility of a mass resignation campaign by doctors employed by the health ministry. They also decided to refer Health Minister Maha El-Rabat to a syndicate ethics committee, demanding her expulsion for taking action against striking doctors.

Rabat was summoned by the syndicate and is expected to make a statement on 9 March.

Egypt's interim cabinet resigned on Monday and a new one is set to be formed within days. It remains unknown whether Rabat will retain her post in the coming cabinet.

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26-02-2014 07:38pm
Population control
There was a half hearted effort during the Nasser hears limited to billboards suggesting population controll I know that much. Obviously no one paid any attention. Now you are beyond crisise conditions. To establish zero growth means each couple can only have two childran. Unfortunately you are now at a point just like China you need to implement minus growth which would be one child per couple. I know no one wants to hear any of this, but years of complete irresponsibility requires ugly measures to fix it. Good luck.
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Adly Kamel, Ismaeliyah
26-02-2014 03:37pm
National Plan
Egypt can only support half of its present population. Let us work together to reduce the population to 50 millions only.
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Adel Masry`I
26-02-2014 03:34pm
I support your Cause
We need fair distribution of wealth based on new tax law. Only the people assembly has the legal power to impose new taxes. I hope the new Health Minister will do better.
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Amoon, Maspero
26-02-2014 01:43pm
Rotten to the Core
I support your reasonable demands. I hope their is political will to impose social justice and force sharing what little the country has of wealth; if any. We are poor country and getting poorer because of population explosion.
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