Doctors: attacks at hospital should be treated like ‘attempted murder’

Nouran El-Behairy
3 Min Read
Doctors’ Syndicate, Cairo

The Doctor’s Syndicate held a press conference on Tuesday decrying the lack of security at hospitals around the country, where doctors have been attacked, highlighting the need for heightened security around emergency rooms in particular. The doctors called for harsher penalties on people who attack hospitals, who they believe are should be charged with “attempted murder.”

Doctors had forced to close their emergency rooms in response to the attacks, further complicating matters by endangering patients as a result. A number of doctors have been attacked by patients’ families in recent days.

Usually general hospitals receive too many patients which adds more pressure on the doctors without the necessary facilities and space to treat them in intensive care units.

Dr. Mona Mina, a member of the syndicate’s board and the general coordinator for the group “Doctors Without Rights,” said shuttering the emergency rooms of some hospitals around the country was not a form of strike, but a security measure that ensured doctors would be safe while doing their jobs. “We’re concerned about the lives of both the patients and the doctors,” Mina said. She said the syndicate had not called for a full-scale strike, but doctors have the right to a partial strike until their demands are met. “Doctors need a secure environment to be able to treat people,” she said.

Dr. Rashwan Shaaban, a member of “Doctors Without Rights” said “Closing down el Qasr Al-Einy hospital for four days has more impact than closing the Suez Canal” he added “this crisis is more dangerous than the bread or gas crisis.” “Doctors Without Rights” started a protest Sunday morning at the Doctor’s Syndicate to demand more hospital security, after a several medical staff across the country were assaulted at hospitals.

Doctors forcibly closed facilities and entire hospitals like El Qasr El-Einy, Bolaq El Dakroor, Om El Masryeen. The doctors also closed emergency rooms. El- Hussien Hospital shut down by 8 pm, despite the need for its emergency room to be functional 24-hours day.

The protesting doctors said in a statement that when assaults become commonplace in hospitals, with some patients threatening doctors with machine guns and knives, action should be taken before someone dies. The doctors have asked President Mohamed Morsy to interfere. In Ismailia, doctors closed down the emergency room of the general hospital after people attacked Dr. Mohammed Jamal, a resident doctor at the hospital who suffered bruises and cuts on his face.

The Ministry of the Interior responded to the request of the syndicate and assigned 50 policemen to secure El-Qasr El-Einy, whose emergency room was reopened after 4 days of closure.

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