CAIRO: The Doctors Without Rights movement denounced the pay raise offered by Minister of Health Hatem El Gabaly to doctors, Dr Mona Mina, official spokesperson of the movement told Daily News Egypt.
The movement deemed the raise “an underestimation of doctors’ deteriorating conditions and a horrible alternative to their call for a new doctors’ law, Mina said.
Mina explained that the decision is a ministerial one that can change should a different minister be appointed.
“It would have been better if the minister had promoted a law to be approved by the People’s Assembly to indicate a specific pay raise that cannot be changed when another minister takes over, she said.
The movement also criticized the fact that the salary increase is to go into effect “only when there are sufficient financial resources and after doctors undergo evaluations.
Mina added that some of doctors will be granted the raises without any evaluations, while the majority will have to undergo evaluations determining their raises.
“The minister has also promised a salary increase for the months of July and August and that was never implemented, Mina added.
According to Mina, the salary increase will not equally apply to all doctors. She explained that resident fresh graduate doctors – whose salaries range from LE 300-400 – will earn three times as much. While specialized doctors who have been working in the field for a longer time and whose salaries total around LE 600, will only receive a 30 percent increase in their salaries.
This is due to the ministry’s misconception that specialized doctors make more money than resident doctors because they own private clinics and work in private hospitals, Mina explained.
“Most of those specialized doctors are old and are not able to work in more than one place, also most female doctors cannot commit to private clinics due to family obligations, Mina said.
She suggested the ministry allocate the salaries according to the working hours, instead of basing it on a false assumption.
However, Dr Hamdy El-Sayed, chairman of the Doctors’ Syndicate, lauded the raise, and considers it one step forward.
“The government has promised doctors an improvement in their financial situation to take place over three years and I think that the new raise is a step forward in that direction, El-Sayed told Daily News Egypt.
It may not be the new doctors law that we have been asking for but it is definitely something.
According to El-Sayed, the government refused to draft a doctors law that would allow doctors a steady increase in their salaries due to lack of financial resources, however “we will continue to call for this new law. Mina explained that some hospitals, such as educational hospitals as well as mental health hospitals, did not benefit from this raise.
“In some cases, doctors earn less than the janitors who clean the hospitals they work for, she said.
A doctor s job is one of the most needed in the community, which is why it needs stability and security, Mina said.
Moreover, doctors working in a public hospital in the governorate of Qana filed a complaint to the health ministry indicating that that they did not receive the alleged raise, Muslim Brotherhood website reported. “We all know that Minister Hatem El Gabaly always says that he understands what Egyptian doctors are going through and sympathizes with their current situation but I think we need more than talking to solve our problems, Mina said.