CAIRO: Egyptian doctors, pharmacists and dentists began a strike Saturday to protest against the government’s refusal to meet their demands and its insistence on the passage of the alternative stimulus bill.
The striking doctors are demanding an increase of 9 percent to the Health Ministry budget, as well as improvement of public hospitals.
According to Youm7, the strike includes ministry hospitals in various governorates, while it has not included educational hospitals related to the universities and military hospitals.
“If the government had the serious will to execute our demands, it could do so, ” Dr. Amr Al-Shora, member of the high committee of the doctors’ strike, told The Cairo Post.
He added that the strike did not include doctors providing intensive and emergency care to patients.
Shora said doctors had raised their demands to consecutive governments since 2008, and said he refused calls for suspending the strikes, in order to provide the new government with the opportunity to meet their categorical demands.
He criticized the governmental approach in dealing with the doctors during the recent year, stressing the need for paying attention to their demands to save the critical sector during the coming period.
High Committee of the Doctors’ strike issued a statement on Friday, saying that the doctors face a state that “ignores the medical sector,” and described Health Ministry hospitals as “inadequate” to provide medical services.
It called on Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to open military hospitals to the public to provide free medical services to all citizens. They added that the military leader should force governmental officials to receive treatment in governmental hospitals, and not allow them travel abroad to receive treatment.
Minister of Health Adel Adawy said in a previous statement to Youm7 after taking the office that the demands raised by the doctors are “legal,” and said he would meet with them to discuss their demands.