By: Nourhan Dakroury
Doctors Without Rights have announced plans to hold a protest on 15 June at the Ministry of Health to demand the staff law go into effect and the health budget be increased to 8% of the national budget instead of 4.5%.
During the Shura Council’s session on Sunday, MPs approved the Staff Law “in concept”, stopping short of passing the bill into law.
Ahmed Hussein, a member of Doctors Without Rights, said that now that the council approved the concept of the law, it will have to go through the health committee of the Shura Council and then back to the Council for it to be fully approved.
Hussein said that the Staff Law is a monetary and administrative law that would economically rank staff members according to their degree and working experience.
Hussein said that students studying medicine need at least double the amount of time that any other student needs to graduate and that doctors should never stop learning and updating their knowledge and skill set.
He added that doctors in public facilities find this very difficult to do since they are paid on average between EGP 1,200 and LE 1,500 a month.
“This meagre salary does nothing nowadays, which forces doctors to work in another private institution,” he said.
Hussein also explained how this new law would give doctors more independence from the State Workers Law which, according to Hussein, does not take into consideration the different nature of doctors’ jobs.
He explained that in the cases where doctors are accused of malpractice, usually the Legal Affairs Authority would look into the situation and refer the doctor to the investigative authorities.
According to Hussein, this procedure is wrong since the Legal Affairs Authority does not understand the medical procedures and aspects behind each incident.
“In such cases, a committee of medical professionals should be formed in order to look into the case and decide whether the doctor’s procedures were wrong or not,” Hussein said.
According to their official Facebook page, Doctors Without Rights also demand that people who attack hospitals should be accused of attempted murder in order to insure a safe environment for doctors to work in.
Hussein said that this protest will be open-ended until their demands are addressed.