A myriad of doctors went on a strike Tuesday in many Egyptian cities, calling for a host of demands including pay rises, the increase of the health ministry budget and stepped up security measures in hospitals.
The nationwide strike affected several governorates. Personnel in emergency rooms, however, were excluded from the strike and did attend to patients.
In Sharqiya, hospitals and governmental clinics suspended work for four days from 8am - 2pm, while around 80 doctors went on a strike in Suez that should last for three days.
Likewise, Ismailiya’s doctors staged a three-day strike. A host of doctors in Alexandria Damietta, Monofiya, Assiout, Daqahliya also participated, whereas only 10 in Gharbiya protested.
No doctors were reported striking in Al-Wadi Al-Gedid today. According to ministry of health officials all hospitals and medical units are operating normally. Doctors in the Red Sea, Aswan, Qena and Fayoum took no part in the nationwide strike.
Dentists, pharmacists and nursing staff members also participated in the nationwide strike.
On Monday, civilians and political groups joined a solidarity demonstration supporting the doctors' demands after they sent out an invitation on Sunday that read: "...solidarity demonstration at 3pm for civilians and all political groups to support Egyptian doctors' demands for a better health care system for all Egyptians."
The doctors also demand the removal of the minister of health, Ashraf Hatem, who they consider a member of Egypt’s previous, corrupt regime. The first strike was considered a great success and was observed by 65 per cent of hospitals in Cairo and Giza and 90 per cent of hospitals in other governorates.