By Naser Al-A’azazy
Doctors organised a short lived protest in the Al-Arish General Hospital in solidarity with the Doctors’ Syndicate’s decision to engage in a partial strike.
The protest only lasted an hour due to the current conditions in Sinai. Salah Salam, the head of the doctors’ sub syndicate in North Sinai said that work inside the hospital was not disrupted because of the protest; instead, the doctors who took part in the protest finished their work in the hospital before joining.
Salam added that the doctors in north and south Sinai want want risk allowance because of the conditions they work under.
He added the Sinai Peninsula is losing competent doctors who are asking to be moved. He also said that the requested sum for risk allowance for 500 doctors in the governorates of North Sinai and South Sinai will barely be equivalent to the amount of money two consultants at the Ministry of Health make in bonuses.
Salam said Al-Arish General Hospital needs a heart catheter room, an MRI machine, and a device for early breast cancer detection.
The protest by the doctors in Sinai is part of the partial doctors’ strike which started on 1 October with the doctors putting forth three main demands, the passing of a wage law which guarantees that they get a minimum wage, creating harsher penalties for those who carry out attacks against hospitals and gradually raising the percentage of the budget allocated for health to 15 per cent. The current percentage of the budget allocated for health is less than five percent. Ultimately, the doctors on strike say they want to be able to provide their patients with better healthcare.
As part of the strike which only targets state-run Ministry of Health hospitals, the doctors insist on providing patients with free treatment inside the internal departments of the hospitals rather than let the patients pay for treatment in outpatient clinics, the only department of hospitals which the strike targets. The doctors on strike are currently on a campaign to collect group resignations assisted with a legal team, the resignations will only be submitted when they reach a minimum of 15,000.