CAIRO: Members of Doctors Without Rights (DWR) group have expressed concern about a draft law on further education that is currently before parliament.
A copy of the draft “continuous professional development law was published on the Doctors’ Syndicate’s website this week.
The draft law provides for the establishment of a “national authority for continuous professional medical development charged with “raising doctors’ theoretical and practical abilities so that they keep up with scientific developments.
The national authority – composed of ministry of health officials, members of the doctors’ syndicate, university staff and an armed forces doctor – will oversee the accreditation points system introduced by the draft law.
Article 16 of the draft law provides that specialist and consultant doctors must acquire a total of 250 accreditation points over the course of a five-year period and at least 70 points during the first 2 years of this period.
The article states that doctors who do not acquire a sufficient number of points during a grace period included in the third year are forbidden from nomination for educational training sessions both in Egypt and abroad.
Specialists and consultants who do not acquire the 250 accreditation points during the five-year period are struck off the medical register and may only be reinstated after acquiring the points necessary.
DWR member Mona Mina writes on DWR’s Facebook group that professional development “is an important and basic demand.
“It is clear then that my objection to the draft law concerns the form that this professional development will take, and not the idea of professional development itself, Mina writes.
Mina writes that after a cursory reading of the draft law she has several concerns with it.
The law does not mention the body that will fund the costs of doctors’ training, “which will place the entire burden on doctors’ shoulders, which are already heavily laden, Mina writes.
Mina rejects the demand put forward on the doctors’ syndicate website that doctors be provided with an allowance payment to cover the costs of training, saying that “there is a big possibility that the actual costs of the training will be more than the value of the allowance payment, or that the allowance payments will be paid where financial resources are available, making payments of sums due uncertain.
Mina calls for employers (either the ministry of health or hospitals) to be liable for payment of the expenses of the training courses and conferences doctors will have to attend to acquire the accreditation points.
Mina also expresses concern that the draft law’s implementing statute will be issued via a prime ministerial decree pursuant to a proposal submitted by the minister of health and national authority, “meaning that the law leaves all the details in the hands of the minister of health and prime minister without obliging employers to pay the costs of training.
“The draft law only obliges doctors to acquire the accreditation points, or be struck off the medical register, she adds.
Sherif Shaban Mohammed writes on the group meanwhile that the only conditions under which he will accept the law is if doctors receive a minimum wage of LE 1,000 and if the law is made “less vague .
“Give us a minimum wage first and then we’ll talk about the law, Mohammed writes.
DWR has been engaged in a long battle with the ministry of health for a minimum wage of LE 1,000. Last year it rejected a prime ministerial decree which increased wages via incentive payments which doctors say are either not paid regularly, or not paid at all.