Doctors Syndicate to protest state budget plans

The Doctors Syndicate called on its members and local branches across the country to protest in front of major hospitals and the syndicate headquarters in Cairo against a government budget proposal that allocates less than 5 percent of spending to the health sector.

The protests are planned for the coming two Sundays.

A fiscal year 2012/2013 budget proposed by the Finance Ministry would grant 4.8 percent of spending to health, compared to 17 percent in fiscal year 2011/12 and falling far short of the syndicate's calls for at least 15 percent.

The syndicate objected in a Tuesday statement to the proposed budget, and demanded that health spending at least double the rate set for this year in the current budget, with a plan to raise it to 15 percent over the next two years.

The statement called on medical employees to stage hour-long protests on 20 and 27 May, and said it would send a delegation to meet with People’s Assembly and Shura Council members on Monday to discuss the issue.

It also called on citizens and other syndicates to help gather 1 million signatures in an effort to petition for more health funding.

Syndicate head Khairy Abdel Dayem criticized the budget, which the People’s Assembly is expected to review within a few days, describing it as a “catastrophe and a crime” against the people.

Abdel Dayem previously said he is in discussions with Health Minister Fouad al-Nawawy to press for increasing the proposed health funding in a way that conforms to the needs of hospitals and patients.

Several medical movements such as lobbying group Doctors without Rights also rejected the proposed health budget.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

Related Articles

Back to top button