Hospitals start applying free-medical services decision
Undersecretary of the Doctors’ Syndicate Mona Mina

CAIRO: A decision by Doctors’ Syndicate to provide free medical services for all patients has been put into action Saturday; Youm7 quoted members of the Syndicate.

Committees will be established at the syndicate headquarters in governorates to follow up on the implementation of the decision, Ehab el-Taher, General Secretariat of Syndicate, told Youm7.

The syndicate has issued a bundle of decisions during its last urgent meeting held earlier this month to condemn police impunity after nine officers accused of beating doctors were released. Later, only one of them was referred to trial.

The assembly, which was attended by thousands of doctors, called on for dismissal of Health Minister over inaction in protecting them on duty, as well as sending him to administrative investigations.

The incident of doctors assaulted at Matariya Teaching Hospital has triggered anger among doctors who called for strike. However, the assembly voted against the strike at hospitals, and agreed on providing services for free starting from Feb.27 instead.

A number of hospitals reported doctors reluctant to apply the syndicate’s decisions, including Hurghada Hospital, which rejected to implement the decision on the laboratory and radiology sections.

In case hospitals reject implementing the free-service decision, Dr. Mona Mina, the Undersecretary of Syndicate, said that a complaint should be submitted to the Administrative Court attached with a copy of the receipt the patient was obliged to pay, according to press statements.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Health, one of the litigants, has motioned a legal suit against the syndicate for not charging patients in exchange for the medical services, claiming they are violating the regulating law, Youm7 reported.

The syndicate’s decision to provide free services to patients is only imposed on governmental hospitals, and does not involve private or university hospitals.

Patients seeking treatment at public hospitals usually pay lower fees than private ones. At the entrance of a public hospital, patients pay between 1 EGP ($0.13) to 2 EGP, but they are not charged when entering emergency department.

The charge of medical check services at public hospital ranges from 15-20 EGP, while it could exceed 100 EGP at private ones.

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