CAIRO: The Supreme Committee for the Doctor’s Strike demanded that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab secure the hospitals and doctors during their strike, in a Sunday statement.
The Committee said that assaults on the hospitals have prevented the doctors from doing their job in the emergency rooms during the strike, noting that the committee seeks to improve the healthcare system.
“The three major demands of the doctors are increasing the Ministry of Health’s budget, drafting a new law to organize the doctor’s financial and administrative conditions, and securing the hospitals,” Omar al-Shouri told The Cairo Post on Sunday.
The Committee further pointed to the importance of issuing a law to prevent government officials from being treated outside public hospitals, in a Sunday statement issued by the committee.
The statement continued, saying that the partial strike is ongoing until their legitimate demands are met, and calling on state officials to respond rapidly to their demands, which include the rights of the Egyptian citizen to receiving quality medical services.
The Supreme Committee for the Doctor’s Strike issued a statement on March 7, in response to the statements of Field Marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the students of the Faculty of Medicine of the Armed Forces on March 6. The students had demanded publicizing the payroll of the officials in the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Sector.
Meanwhile, Sisi responded by asking doctors to “present services to Egypt without waiting for returns.” The wider context of Sisi’s statements asked people to be patient, adding that the costs of medical services is large, and that the country cannot endure them.
“[If] you are going to ask people to sacrifice, start by doing so yourself, and open the military hospitals to people for free, instead of sending military officials to receive treatment abroad, at the state’s expense,” Shoury stated.
Shoury added that instead of sending ministers to be treated abroad at the state’s expense, the ministry should cure them in the governmental hospitals like everybody else.
“If any official in critical condition is sent abroad for treatment, at the state’s expense, then any Egyptian in critical condition should also be sent abroad to be treated at the state’s expense,” he added.
More than 100,000 doctors, pharmacists, and veterinarians have taken part in a partial strike in public hospitals since January. The strike was suspended for short periods, but resumed on Feb. 12 and was scheduled to conclude by the end of February. However, doctors resumed the partial strike on March 8 when their demands remained unrecognized.
Additional reporting by Waleed Abdel Salam.