Maha al-Rabbat, Minister of Health, said she hopes doctors will not participate in a planned strike against the Doctors Professional Development Law, a draft law aimed at regulating the medical profession and the activities of medical practitioners.
Khairy Abdel Dayem, head of the Doctors’ Syndicate, had called for a strike against the bill which would be applied to doctors starting next January.
The ministry decision would raise doctor's wages to LE2,000, but the Doctors' Syndicate opposes it, saying they are not concerned with the financial side of things but rather want recognition of their administrative demands related to promotions.
“I do not know the secret behind their anger about the law,” Rabbat said, “but reason says [doctors] have to accept the law as a first step toward achieving what they want, without having to stop the entire project, because the law will be amended after 4 years.”
The minister added that seven syndicates took part in preparing the bill and they all agree on it, and that the bill will be submitted to the interim president for approval within days.
Rabbat said the Doctors’ Syndicate clings to another old draft law that would have been applied over 5 years, while the current bill would be applied over two and a half years.
It can be reviewed and modified later, she noted, as the current financial situation does not allow for an increase in benifits.
The Doctors’ Syndicate wholly objected to the bill proposed by the Health Ministry, and believe only includes bonuses to increase the salaries of doctors.
The syndicate said the minister ignored the demands relating to the administrative side regarding doctors' promotions.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm