Doctors Syndicate chief threatens to hold sit-in if health budget not raised

Doctors Syndicate head Khairy Abdel Dayem sharply criticized the Cabinet for allocating only 4.8 percent of the budget for the new fiscal year to the entire health sector, as opposed to the 15 percent doctors have been calling for over the past few months.

The Cabinet will soon submit the budget to the People’s Assembly for discussion and approval.

Abdel Dayem described the new budget as a “crime” against the Egyptian people. He said he is communicating with Health Minister Fouad al-Nawawy to raise the health budget in order to overhaul the existing health system.

Abdel Dayem told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the syndicate would organize a sit-in if the health budget allocation remains at 4.8 percent.

The syndicate has been gathering signatures from citizens who approve the idea of raising the health budget allocation to 15 percent, Abdel Dayem said. He said he would express the syndicate’s rejection of the budget to MPs, particularly those who are doctors, as well as the health and budget committees.

“The budget will have implications for the comprehensive health insurance system, the availability of medications in hospitals, the salaries of doctors and the poor health system,” he said. “If the government does not increase the budget, then the health system will not be revamped and Egyptians will suffer a lot to get proper medical treatment.”

Abdel Dayem criticized presidential candidates’ electoral platforms, saying their promises are too broad and lack details regarding implementation.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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