In contrast with statements from the Ministry of Health, the Doctors’ Syndicate disclosed participation rates of hospitals on the first day of implementing its decision to provide medical treatment free of charge.
The decision was initiated by the syndicate’s mass general assembly mid-February, which was triggered by an attack on two doctors at Al-Matariya hospital. The decision came into effect Saturday but the Ministry of Health denied its implementation in any hospitals.
The syndicate listed 11 hospitals that implemented the decision including Shubra, Dar El-Salam, Imbaba, along with other hospitals across all governorates. The participation rates were also listed at 80% in Damietta, 75% in Luxor, 80% in Sohag, 80% in Menufiya, 50% in Daqahleya, 40% in Sharqeya, and 60% in Assiut.
The syndicate voted on the decision amid purported claims that doctors are willing to strike and not provide medical treatment for underprivileged patients. However the reasoning behind their intended strike was to stand by their assaulted colleagues from Al-Matariya hospital.
According to syndicate secretary general Mona Mina, the decision does not include the cost of a check-up; the additional money doctors require from patients in cases of emergency is often upwards of EGP 5,000. The normal cost of a check-up at public hospitals is just EGP 5.
The health ministry warns against doctors who provide medical treatment free of charge, that the decision is unconstitutional. However the ministry was referring to the normal price of check-ups and not the exorbitant cost that many doctors charge patients in several hospitals.