The doctors’ strike is one of the many ongoing labour disputes striving for social justice and equality in Egypt’s ongoing revolution.
On October 1, Egyptian doctors suspended outpatient and non-emergency services as part of a national strike protesting the appalling conditions of Egypt’s public healthcare system. Only 4.8 per cent of the state’s budget is allocated for health services. Egyptian doctors want this increased to 15 per cent. Their demands also include higher wages and better security for healthcare workers and patients.
In response to the strike, the Morsi administration launched a smear campaign pitting doctor’s demands for higher wages against the healthcare needs of the poor. Dr. Mona Mina of Doctors Without Rights and the Doctors’ Union General Council states: “We want the patient to find a clean hospital, just as we want to work in [a] clean environment…We want to work where there is respect, so that we can treat patients with respect. We want to take [home] a decent wage; so that we can offer a decent service…This is the social justice that our children died for in the revolution. This is the human dignity we have been looking for. For us, and for you.”
Despite the administration’s attempts to undermine the striking doctors, the campaign has received widespread support from political parties, movements, and independent trade unions, both nationally and internationally.
Emboldened by this support, the Egyptian doctors launched a mass resignation campaign on October 18 in an effort to force the administration to take action. The striking doctors intend to collect 15,000 resignations and submit them in mass to the Ministry of Health.
For more information including how you can send solidarity messages, visit MENA Solidarity Network.