Translated from the original Arabic statement at http://www.edraab.com/?page_id=2
All errors are my own.
In the last period, Egyptians have suffered from the collapse of the healthcare system and the supremacy of the financial and administrative corruption that has led to the deterioration of health conditions, bad health services, scarcity of vital medical supplies, and the growing disparity between the conditions of our healthcare institutions and international standards of medical quality. Standards that the Egyptian citizen deserves within the context of a decent and comprehensive healthcare system – and which he or she isn’t getting because of a healthcare budget that is far below (not even one third) that guaranteed by international agreements. Our health system gets only 3.6% of then national budget when it’s supposed to get around 15% according to those agreements.
This budget, tiny as it is, is then wasted on medical convoys and favors designed for media promotion – to serve the (now-defunct) National Democratic Party and its candidates. Qualified personnel are wasted inside the ministries, and millions of pounds are given to ministerial consultants – former and present.
All of which has led to the spread of chronic national illnesses and Egypt’s rise to the top of the list when it comes to the spread of hepatitis, cancer, and liver failures, and other such diseases.
Believing as we do in the great principles of the Jan 25 Egyptian Revolution – a revolution that called for Justice, Freedom, and Human Dignity – we, the doctors of Egypt, have decided to move in order to repair the broken healthcare system and to raise the level of healthcare service. We first had a meeting at the general assembly of the Doctor’s Syndicate on the 25th of March, 2011 – during which several decisions were taken to fix syndicate issues and the healthcare system itself, and we decided to present our demands to those responsible in the government.
But rather than being negotiated with, our demands were completely ignored. This forced some of us to protest and demonstrate in front of Ministerial building on the 16th of April – after which some of our doctors met with our Prime Minister Dr. Essam Sharaf, to whom we presented our demands and he, in turn, promised to look into them.
However, with the continued lack of action on the part of the government we had to escalate our position in order to exert more pressure on the government to meet the demands – and therefore – we called for another general assembly on the 1st of May to re-assess the situation since the last assembly and during this last meeting – the following decisions were made:
Decisions & Demands by the Emergency General Assembly of the Syndicated Doctors of Egypt, Sunday 1st of May, 2011:
1. The escalation of our methods of demanding reforms in order to improve incomes and fix the quality of medical services – by which we mean – going on strike in hospitals on the 10th of May and the formation of a higher council to supervise the strike as it progresses and to turn over any doctors who do not abide by it to a disciplinary committee. In light of the strike results we will then call for an open strike on the 17th of May 2011 – keeping in mind that emergency wards will continue to operate, and any critical conditions, intensive care wards, children-related departments and liver failure cases will all be taken care of.
2. We demand the removal of the current Minister of Health and confirm that we will continue to work towards cleaning the healthcare sector from any of the elements of the former and corrupt regime.
3. We demand that security be provided for hospitals.
4. We demand the restructuring of salaries and wages so that doctors are fairly compensated for their work, and demand a ministerial order to that effect before the release of the next national budget.
5. We demand raising the healthcare budget to 15% of the national budget.
6. We re-confirm the importance of all previous demands made by our assembly on the 25th of March and demand a timetable for their fulfillment.
7. The formation of a steering committee to prepare for the next syndicate elections and to help work out lists and timetables in sub-syndicates before the next elections.
8. The elimination of laboratory licenses for other than doctors that deal with humans.
9. We support our detained colleague Dr. Mohamad El Atabanee – who was detained in Saudi Arabia.
The high committee for supervising the strike is composed of:
Dr. Abdel Fatah Rizk, Dr. Eid Mohamad Saad, Dr. Ashraf Mosaad, Dr. Ahmed Shokm, Dr. Alaa Habashy, Dr. Islam Nassar, Dr. Rashwan Shaaban, Dr. Mona Mina, Dr. Ahmed Hamid, Dr. Ramy Fouad, Dr. Ahmed Hussein, Dr. Mohamad Shafiq, Dr. Mona Shafiq, Dr. Mohamad Helmy, Dr. Ibrahim Nofal, Dr. Hanan Abdel Aleem, Dr. Salah Mitwali, Dr. Nabil El Garhi, Dr. Sanaa Fouad, Dr. Shimaa Moslem.