CAIRO: The Veterinarians’ Syndicate will launch a full strike every Wednesday starting in April, in protest of the current government’s neglect of their demands, the syndicate announced in a Thursday statement.
The Veterinarians had previously participated in the doctor’s strike in February and March, demanding to be included to the medical profession cadre, which includes financial and administrative benefits such as promotions to higher ranks, trainings and insurance.
They also called for maintaining the commissioning law for fresh graduates, against calls for its amendment from the government.
A March 6 statement by the syndicate said that since 1995 many graduates have not been able to find full-time veterinary positions.
The syndicate said on Thursday that the strike would exclude veterinarians from performing health inspections at prisons and hospitals. Further, the syndicate will hold a general assembly for the second time on April 7 at the Doctors’ Syndicate headquarters.
It also called for a stand in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, inviting the unemployed veterinarians to participate on April 3 to demand their rights.
Manager of the Cairo Veterinary Directorate Soad el-Khouly told The Cairo Post on Thursday that although the government had not yet addressed the veterinarians’ demands, she is against the strike, and called for unity among all members of the Medical Professions Union.
Khouly clarified that the Medical Professions Union does not include all veterinarians, but includes doctors, dentists and pharmacists, and only between 100 to 150 veterinarians who work for the Ministry of Health.
Khouly added that the union is under the auspices of the ministry.
If the Ministries of Agriculture and Health do not want to include veterinarians, the government should establish an independent union to include the 20,000 veterinarians currently in Egypt, Khouly continued.
“Veterinarians are like other physicians, and they have the right to be included with the medical professions,” Khouly added.
Khouly further warned, “If the strike includes the slaughterhouses that are under the veterinarians’ supervision, the butchers will begin slaughtering livestock outside, which will lead to the spread of diseases.”
Publicly employed doctors, pharmacists and veterinarians have been on partial strike since January. The strike was suspended for a short time, but was resumed in February and March after their demands remained unrecognized.
The doctors’ demands center on reforming the healthcare system and providing security in hospitals. Further, the doctors reject the former Ministry of Health’s implementation of the newly adopted incentives’ project, which was implemented in place of a preferred bill designating the salaries for medical professionals.