Major hospitals strike, Health Ministry reroutes patients

The Health Ministry has declared that major hospitals in proximity to medical facilities that are currently on strike will be on maximum alert so that they can accommodate patients in need.

Many hospitals have gone strike after a recent spate of attacks on doctors and nursing staff.

Abdel Hamid Abaza, assistant to Health Minister, condemned these acts of violence against doctors. He added that it is not acceptable, however, to leave patients without care.

Abaza told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Health Ministry decided to reroute patients from closed hospitals to those nearby. Patients normally treated at the Sahel and Shubra Hospitals will be sent to the Nasser Institute, for instance. In addition, the hospitals of Monira, Gomhoria and Khalifa were asked to receive patients of Ahmed Maher and Al-Sayed Galal hospitals.

“The ministry demanded that hospitals increase the amount of emergency medications,” he stated.

Abaza confirmed that on Sunday the Health Ministry contacted both the interior minister and the head of the military police to make sure the hospitals will be equipped with the appropriate security measures. He stressed that within a maximum of 48 hours both police and military police reinforcements will be on guard.

Doctors Syndicate head Khairy Abdel Dayem said that he has sent a message to President Mohamed Morsy requesting an urgent meeting between him and the health and interior ministers, as well as the syndicate, to discuss ways of securing hospitals. He also suggested the possibility of forming a police department specializing in securing medical facilities.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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