CAIRO: Head of the Doctors’ Syndicate Hamdy El-Sayyed has criticized protest action taken by a group of doctors last week in Mansoura.
Doctors employed at the Mansoura Eye Hospital staged a one-hour protest last Wednesday in anger at a three-month delay in payment of allowances and the alleged refusal by hospital management to pay them for work performed between 2 pm and 8 pm.
In a statement published on lobby group Doctors Without Rights’ (DWR) website, the doctors are praised as a “civilized example of making voices heard.
According to state news agency MENA, eleven doctors have been sent to the administrative prosecution office for questioning as a result of the protest.
The statement says that doctors ensured that emergency cases continued to receive treatment during the protest. “Despite this, the doctors were summoned for investigation.DWR strongly condemns these oppressive practices which are forcing doctors to emigrate abroad in search of a decent wage, the statement reads.
The statement also makes reference to the case of Mohamed Hassan Khalil who has been at the forefront of the campaign against government plans to privatize health insurance.
After numerous appearances in the media Khalil first lost his post as head of the Cardiac Catheratisation Unit after which his contract was terminated altogether – as a direct result of his campaign work, the statement alleges.
Addressing a meeting of doctors in Daqheleyya on Saturday, El-Sayyed is quoted by MENA as saying that the Syndicate “refuses any individual or group action by doctors.
“There exist official channels, and legal ways of expressing professional demands or personal wishes or any other problem, El-Sayyed is quoted as saying.
DWR and the Doctors Syndicate have consistently been at odds about the most appropriate method of realizing their shared demand for a LE 1,000 minimum wage.
Last year doctors voted overwhelmingly for strike action during a general assembly of the Doctors’ Syndicate. The decision was subsequently unilaterally overturned by the Syndicate’s executive board who announced that it has been “postponed pending a study of the “legality of strike action.