Doctors begin open-ended strike, threaten escalation

Doctors announced a nationwide strike on Tuesday demanding higher wages, better medical services for citizens, and the dismissal of corrupt senior officials from the Health Ministry.

Egypt's Doctors Coalition, which organized the strike, said in a statement that the strikers include staff from 20 public hospitals throughout Egypt. The group called on the rest of the country's hospitals to communicate with the strikers to help press the government to meet their demands.

Dozens of doctors began a part-time strike on Saturday, effective three days a week. They threatened to continue the strike if the government refuses to fulfill their demands.

A wave of medical worker protests started on 17 May with a part-time strike led by young doctors, and then a full-time strike on 24 May, after negotiations with Health Minister Amr Helmy broke down.

Helmy vowed on Thursday to increase the doctors' salaries during the transitional period. He also said that official reports acquitted ministry officials from corruption charges.

State-run news agency MENA quoted an official at the Health Ministry as saying there are alternative plans to secure workers for hospitals during the strikes.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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