Egyptian doctors protest lack of police accountability, demand secured hospitals
Egyptian doctors protest lack of police accountability, demand secured hospitals
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CAIRO: A number of Doctors’ Syndicate members organized protests Saturday demanding more security measures at hospitals, and accountability to policemen accused of attacking doctors, Youm7 reported.

The syndicate has called for the protests, which took place outside its headquarters in Downtown Cairo and hospitals across the country, according to Youm7.

The protesting doctors carried banners that reiterated their demands in protecting “Doctors’ dignity.”

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The demonstrations come as part of escalating moves by the syndicate after nine policemen, accused of assaulting on-duty doctors at Matariya Teaching hospital, were released after briefly detained.

In January, two doctors were physically attacked by policemen reportedly for refusing to write a fake medical report on an officer’s injury.

The prosecution decided to refer only one out of nine to rapid trial over the incident.

The decision stirred anger among doctors who condemned what they called ‘police impunity’ and held several protests calling for legislations to protect doctors on duty.

In its last urgent meeting, the Doctors’ syndicate-although did not vote for a strike- has decided to provide medical services for free starting from Feb.27. The decision has been adopted by at least 50 percent of the hospitals across Egypt, as quoting Youm7, while others who rejected implementation were referred to disciplinary councils.

The syndicate also demanded to refer the Health Minister Ahmed Emad el-Din to administrative investigations, and called for his dismissal over “inaction” in protecting them.

The Interior Ministry is facing a growing outrage due to increasing incidents of abuses reported against civilians, which the ministry routinely calls “isolated incidents” denying any indications of systematic malpractice by police personnel.

However, a recent case of a truck driver shot dead by a policeman has largely stirred public anger, and prompted President Abdel Fatah to call for new legislation, which is currently waiting for Cabinet’s approval, to hold police accountable for abuses.

 

 

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