Doctors in public hospitals began a mass resignation campaign on Thursday intended to escalate the ongoing strike.
A general committee established to manage the strike said Doctors Syndicate board members Dr. Ahmed Hussein of Cairo and Dr. Emteyaz Hassouna of Alexandria resigned on Thursday.
Hussein, one of the strike organizers, said the campaign is hoping to prompt 5,000 resignations a week nationwide, including in small towns and villages.
Doctors went on strike at the beginning of the month demanding better wages, work conditions and patient care. They also want what they say are corrupt Health Ministry officials dismissed.
The head of the syndicate's Luxor branch, Dr. Ahmed Hamza, and the Luxor syndicate secretary general, Dr. Hesham Sabry, have also resigned, the committee said in a statement Wednesday.
Dr. Abbas Gaber said 29 resignations have been collected so far in the branch he leads in Qena, where doctors at nine public hospitals continue to protest, complaining that their demands are being ignored.
The committee says it expects 20,000 doctors to resign over a one-month period.
Copies of official resignation forms are to be distributed in hospitals to encourage doctors to resign, said striking doctor Ehab Taher, after which the number of resginations will be announced. Taher added that about 30 doctors at Zawya al-Hamra Hospital in Cairo have already submitted their resignations.
The strike committee announced that it would take responsibility for the legal and administrative consequences of the mass resignations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm