Tuesday, October 2, 2012

#egydocstrike : Better health care please “Updated”

UntitledI support the Egyptian doctors strike and I pray for its success because I know as a citizen I need this strike when I speak about my rights in better health care in Egypt. You must know that this is just a partial strike “for 12 hours per day” in public hospitals following the ministry of health in Egypt excluding the emergency unit and neonatal units. The strike is controversial and I am afraid that the media is not giving the whole truth , the whole image for the public. The media does not tell the public that the starting salary of the doctors starts in Egypt from LE 300 "about $50" and the medical hazards' allowance is LE 20 !!!!! The media does not tell the public that healthcare in Egyptian's state budget is considered from the lowest worldwide , it is 4.8%
Those doctors standing behind the strikes are the doctors working in the public hospitals following the MOH who got no private practices and who do not work in the private hospitals. Actually the doctors who are standing against the strike are mostly those working in the private hospitals and private practices with big price tag. Already imagine if we have a real healthcare suitable for humans in Egypt , imagine how much they will lose.
About 50% of the Egyptian people can not afford to be treated in private hospitals or clinics what so ever. Do you know that many children die in children
The doctors in Egypt have decided to have a partial strike in Egypt in the hospitals and external clinics of non emergency cases following the ministry of health alone starting from October,1st , 2012
In last 21/9/2012 Doctors’ general assembly  held a meeting in the doctors' syndication and reached to the following :
  • There will be partial open strike from 1/10/2012 in the public hospitals and its clinics excluding the emergency units, neonatal units and emergency cases. "All emergency cases will be treated for free according to a ministerial decree issued in 2001"
  • The universities, police and military hospitals are excluded from the strike. Private practices and private hospitals are also excluded. 
  • Securing the public hospitals against the thugs' attack. 
  • This just the first step of escalation. 
This strike is for the following demands : 
  • Increase the portion of the state's budget allocated to healthcare from 4.8% to 15%
  • Better the quality of healthcare service presented in the Public hospitals. 
  • Increase the minimum wage for doctors and medical teams "including nurses"
According to activists online the estimated numbers of hospitals following the ministry of health participating in this partial strike is 540 hospitals.

Yesterday the Doctors’ strike committee which oversees the strike held a small press conference which I attended where they shared the latest development.
According the Doctors' strike committee the strike is 100% successful while the ministry of health announced that it is a big failure !! "I believe the doctors and now the ministry as usual !!" There is high rate of participation in the public hospitals following the MOH that reached in some governorates in the past 48 hours between 90%-100% while in other governorates it reached to 80% and 70% "very few according to the data the Strike committee receives in its chamber at the doctors' syndicate from the strike coordinators in the 27 governorates.
We are speaking about a strike that seems to be successful in governorates like Alexandria ,Qena, Minya , Luxor , Suez, Port Said, Kafr El Sheikh, Gharbia , Fayoum, Behaira, Cairo , Giza, Monufia, Bani Sawif, Asuit,Sohag, Dakahlia, Sharkia , Aswan and Marsa Matrouh.
By Dr. Mona Mina said that some fever hospitals are excluded from the strike as fever hospitals are considered emergency hospitals.

Dr. Mona Mina , the famous activist revealed that there have been violations to the general assembly's order to strike from some hospital managers and old doctors from specialists. In several cases the managers threatened the doctors and force them to break the strike.
Here are photos from the press conference
The striking doctors are reporting that the MB doctors are violating the decisions of the
The Socialist Popular alliance party , Strong Egypt party and Al Wasat Party are considered from the few parties in Egypt that announced its full solidarity and support to the strike. Dr. Abdel Moneim Abu El Fotouh and Hamdeen Sabbahi also announced their support to the strike.
April 6th youth too announced their solidarity and covered it in its website and Facebook page. 
Human rights organizations also supported the strike like the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, El-Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Cairo Centre for Human Rights Research, the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.
Some of the Muslim brotherhood's doctors on the other hand including some young doctors violated the decisions of the general assembly and have been working in the public hospitals.
Dr. Mona Mina said in the press conference many of the young MB doctors participated and joined the strike insisting this strike is for the benefit of all Egyptians regardless of their political affiliation. Mina added that the specialist doctors were the ones who violated the decision of syndicate’s general assembly , whether they are MB or not. 
Dr. Ahmed El Sanuri, a doctor working in Abbasiya psychiatric hospital in Cairo revealed that the psychiatric hospitals are also participating in the strike but in their own way due to the nature of their work. Again emergency unit is working while other sections work for one hour only with old patients where as new patients will be admitted to the hospitals on Thursday.
Abbasiya Psychiatric hospital is on strike 
You must know that the Doctors’ syndication board is being dominated by the Muslim brotherhood and despite being supportive to doctors’ strikes in Egypt before the revolution they are now standing against it. In 2008 the MB was totally supportive the doctors' strike and movement , why it is different now !!?
One of the leading members of the Muslim brotherhood has already accused the leftist doctors of having unreasonable demands and working on increasing the agony of the patients . It seems that the left got huge power in Egypt now as thousands of doctors are participating in this !!!
Of course I can not forget how a FJP reporter asking Dr. Mina and her fellow doctors in the strike’s committee about whether the strike is legal or not based on laws issued in time of Atef Ebeid’s government. Needless to say when he identified himself as a FJP reporter the whole room exploded in to laughter !!
During the presser activists and lawyers Haitham Mohamedeen and Ahmed Abdel Aziz were there and the famous Revolutionary socialist lawyer Mohamedeen answered that FJ paper reporter and told him that according to international treaties and laws doctors can go on strike and that Egypt recognizes these treaties and laws.
By the way here is a photo gallery of photos form several public hospitals in Egypt , this will show you a glimpse on the terrible condition of Egyptian public hospitals. I did not want to share more shocking photos.

The healthcare in the Egyptian state budget currently 4.8%. The presidency promised to raise it in the next budge by 14% after a meeting between the Doctors’ syndicate board and President Morsi last week.
The legal coordinator of the strike Dr. Ahmed Shosha told me that they do not need promises in the air , they need clear timetable with all their demands.
To follow the Egyptian doctors’ strike in public hospitals , you can follow these hashtags on twitter :
To follow the Egyptian doctors' strike in Facebook , you can follow the official Facebook Page of Doctors' strike. 


  1. We are broke! Morsy is traveling the globe begging for money while felool are enjoying their billions and tell us not to go on strike rather than to work hard! We have to change this system!

  2. I want to cover something you didn't cover. Egypt needs to radically cut the amount of training places in medical schools. By half at least. The schools should take in ONLY the very best and that means using a different standard not an Egyptian standard of best students. I say this because of two reasons. First it would allow only the best students to train as doctors reducing the numbers in universities and reducing the load on teaching staff and this will double the pay of the remaining excellent score students. Secondly as a nurse in the UK I have worked with Egyptian 'so called' doctors. Their level of practice and knowledge is no where near the level it should be and when they come to the UK they always have to be supervised and retrained and resit exams because of the terrible level of proficiency. I say this as someone who has had to work with them for decades. They come to the UK calling themselves professors and I would never leave them alone treating my dog. The standard clearly is set very low in Egypt so radical restructuring needs to take place in the medical training schools. If you never leave Egypt you would not be able to compare but their level is a lot lower than say european doctors at the same grade. Immediately they are accepted in UK hospitals they are downgraded to low house officer status and have to be retrained and their level of safety regarding patients is non existant and frightening frankly. So the whole system needs to be overhauled in Egypt from top to bottom. Egypt accepts students who would never find a place in European medical schools. This is a huge problem which allows below par doctors to graduate from Egypt and then they cannot work abroad because their qualifications are not accepted outside Egypt. Instead of striking and worrying about pay the whole structure needs to be reviewed and some experts brought in to advise on how to bring the standards to a more European level at least. Being able to call yourself doctor on your Facebook page doesn't mean at all that you would ever be considered a doctor elsewhere.

  3. This article describes it best.

    'The Arab Worlds Obsession with using the Doctor title'


  4. I support the Egyptian doctors strike and I pray for its success because I know as a citizen I need this strike when I speak about my rights in better health care in Egypt. You must know that this is just a partial strike “for 12 hours per day” in public hospitals following the ministry of health in Egypt excluding the emergency unit and neonatal units. James


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