CAIRO: Doctors’ Syndicate head Hamdy El-Sayyed said that he has “lost patience as a result of young Ministry of Health doctors’ financial situation, in a letter sent to the minister.
El-Sayyed informed Health Minister Hatem El-Gabaly that “the decree to improve young doctors’ financial situation has not ended their suffering, and incentive payments are paid some months, and then not paid others.
El-Sayyed’s letter is the latest installment in the ongoing saga of Ministry of Health doctors’ salaries. While lobby group Doctors Without Rights (DWR) has long campaigned for a basic set monthly wage of at least LE 1,000, the Doctors’ Syndicate in 2008 accepted wage rise promises by the prime minister and health ministry in the form of incentive payments as part of a two-year scheme.
Doctors have repeatedly complained that these incentive payments are either paid late, or not at all.
Last month El-Gabaly announced that LE 200 million will be apportioned to improving doctors’ pay, days after doctors voted to stage a protest on April 19, 2010 during a syndicate general assembly.
El-Sayyed urges the health minister to “take more effective measures, in order that young doctors are not struck with a sense of despair and lack of belonging to the nation.
“Citizens’ health is precious, and the performance of doctors is a central component of this issue. For that reason doctors must be made a special priority, El-Sayyed’s letter read.
Members of DWR writing on the group’s Facebook page are skeptical about El-Sayyed’s sincerity.
One member, Hussam Kamal, described the letter as a “media tactic adding, “we shouldn’t forget that it was El-Sayyed who cancelled the planned strike action in 2008 days before it was due to take place.
DWR spokeswoman Mona Mina addressed the syndicate leader himself, saying, “We hope that the syndicate makes us happy by implementing the decision taken during the general assembly [to protest on April 19].
“I believe that this will force officials to listen to our demands more than 100 letters ever would.