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Egyptian Doctors Threaten with Strike over Special Cadre
Egyptian Doctors Threaten with Strike over Special Cadre
More than 150 thousand Egyptian doctors threatened with staging open sit-ins and general strikes in case government doesn’t approve their demands of devising the Special Cadre system to increase salaries in order to meet the soaring price hikes and deteriorating living conditions.
Wednesday, January 23,2008 15:00
by Duaa Abdul Raouf IkhwanWeb
More than 150 thousand Egyptian doctors threatened with staging open sit-ins and general strikes in case government doesn"t approve their demands of devising the Special Cadre system to increase salaries in order to meet the soaring price hikes and deteriorating living conditions. The doctors confirmed that it is legal for them to do such peaceful measure to have their demands met. 
Ikhwanweb quoted The Doctors" Syndicate chief Dr. Hamdi Al Sayed as saying a campaigns of gradual strike will start in order to meet doctors" demand of doubling their salaries and issuing a Special Cadre system for them like other work communities, including judges, university professors, some sovereign bodies and teachers.
 The success of the real-estate tax workers in addressing their most important demand of joining the Ministry of Finance- having their salaries tripled which means- added a rush of adrenaline to doctors who adopted the same method which was previously taken by workers in El-Mahalla El-Kubra spinning and weaving factories, underground workers and recently real-estate tax workers. 
"Doctors without rights" movement, established months ago, started to take escalating measures in coordination with the Doctors" Union in order to exercise pressure on government to improve the tragic situations facing one of the most important sections of the Egyptian society. 
The movement has recently issued a statement in which it confirmed that the deterioration in health services in Egypt is attributed to low wages and salaries while prices are skyrocketing in a way that worries families of the doctors. 
The statement added that the members of the syndicate- up to 150000 doctors- are living below subsistence level and that they are nearly similar to forced laborers who died of abject poverty. 
The statement attributed the retreat in doctors conditions to a retreat in the government"s  spending on the health sector. The government allocated only 3.0 % of the general budget for this sector while the international minimum is 10 % of the budget according to standards of the World Health Organization. This means that government spending on health is below even a third of the international spending. 
Dr. Hamdi Al Sayed, the doctors" head, confirmed that the government interest in addressing demands the factory workers and employees and its neglect to one of the most important sections of the society is a real disaster. 
If the government thinks that the medical circles are distinguished by peace and lenience and that they only complain, it is completely mistaken, said he. 
 Dr. Al Sayed added:" I have repeatedly opposed that doctors stage strikes and sit-ins because their jobs are important and crucial for people"s lives. However, I feel like I am obliged- especially after government turned a deaf ear to our demands- to support their demands of snowballing peaceful protests and seek tougher stances to get our demands addressed. 
In a related context, Dr. Mona Mina, a member of the "Doctors without Rights" movement stressed that all pledges uttered by Health Minister Dr. Hatem Al-Gabali of increasing incentives, allowances and improving the status of doctors haven"t been applied on the ground and that members of the Doctors" union are sure that the minister is actually circumlocuting. So, their only available reaction is to start an escalating campaign of measures to exercise pressures on Al-Gabali to address their demands and implement his promises.

Posted in Activites , Human Rights  
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