Egypt's striking doctors condemn recent attacks on hospitals

Ahram Online, Wednesday 17 Oct 2012

The Egyptian General Committee for Doctors' strike says any hospital that is attacked will close its gates

Egypt's striking doctors (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

A committee representing striking Egyptian doctors has on Wednesday condemned recent attacks on hospitals.

The doctors, who embarked on a strike on 1 October to protest against a number of issues including lack of security in hospitals, revealed two recent incidents in which hospitals were attacked.

“On Wednesday, at dawn, El-Sahel hospital (in Shubra, Cairo) was attacked by men wielding bladed weapons, causing a number of injuries among security personnel,” the Egyptian General Committee for Doctors’ Strike said in a statement.

“Another hospital in Al-Qantara Sharq (in the coastal Ismailia governorate) was also subject to attack, in which the assailants targeted a doctor there but he was protected by the district’s residents.

“Any hospital that is attacked has the right to close its gates until there is proper protection in place,” the statement added.

Earlier this month, a number of parties, trade unions and political movements announced their solidarity with the ongoing doctors' strike, supporting its demands for a better healthcare system and better pay for the doctors and those who work in the health sector.

The strikers have been calling for 15 per cent of the state budget, instead of the current 5 per cent, to be allocated to health, an improvement in doctors' salaries, and an improvement in security at hospitals and medical centres which have been the target of recent attacks.

The partial strike does not include university, police and army hospitals, or emergency rooms.

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