The Doctors’ Syndicate held an emergency meeting of its General Assembly on 12 February to discuss action taken by the syndicate in reaction to the assault on doctors at the Matariya Hospital and similar incidents that happened of late. The Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) conducted a poll on a sample of Egyptian doctors to ascertain their views on the General Assembly’s meeting and decisions, as well as further actin the doctors may contemplate unless the government meets their demands.
The poll showed that most doctors, or 88%, agree to the holding of the emergency General Assembly meeting, while 12% believe that the question at hand didn’t necessitate such a meeting.
The poll also revealed that 58% of the doctors agreed to all the decisions made by the General Assembly, while 22% agreed to some decisions. Meanwhile 3% disagreed with all decisions and 16% were undecided. About two-thirds of the doctors believe that the General Assembly’s decisions would have a positive impact on the doctors’ situation in Egypt, while 28% were unable to determine the impact of such decisions. The rest believe that the decisions would have a negative impact on the doctors’ situation.
The decision to provide treatment free of charge in government hospitals had the backing of 79% of the doctors participating in the poll. About 18% rejected the decision and 4% were undecided.
Asked about the performance of the current health minister, only 11% of the doctors participating in the poll rated his performance as good. About 30% rated his performance as average, 39% rated it as poor, and 20% were undecided. The doctors were divided about the decision to take disciplinary action against the health minister. About 45% of doctors approved of the move; while 40% opposed it. About 15% were undecided.
Only 13% of the doctors participating in the poll took part in the picketing organized on 20 February, while 87% didn’t take part.
As for further steps the doctors would consider taking unless the government grants their demands, 15% of doctors supported a complete strike; 8% favored a partial strike; 7% advised multiple picketing; 6% urged a dialogue with government officials; a similar percentage said that another General Assembly meeting would be in order; and 7% said that no action should be taken in view of the difficult conditions in the country. About 25% were undecided, and other suggestions had a minimal level of support