Doctors to demand prosecution of police attackers in protests on Saturday

The Doctors' Syndicate called on Friday for fresh protests on Saturday at major hospitals nationwide to press for the prosecution of police officers involved in physical assaults on medical workers.

The syndicate urged health workers to take part in demonstrations without affecting medical care for patients.

The medical community has been involved in a stand-off with the Interior Ministry over the past weeks after several reported assaults on doctors by police officers.

The protests planned for Saturday were sparked by the case of doctors at Matareya Hospital in Cairo who were allegedly assaulted by two police officers while on duty in January.

According to the doctors, a police officer had presented himself for treatment for a wound sustained while chasing a suspect. The police officer demanded that the doctors treat the wound and write a medical report exaggerating its seriousness, according to the doctors' account of events. The doctors say that when they refused, the injured police officer and his colleague beat and arrested them.

Since the alleged assault, the Doctors' Syndicate has been campaigning for the police officers to be prosecuted, threatening industrial action if their demands are not met. They have also demanded legistlation to protect health-care workers from assault, free medical care for patients and the resignation of Health Minister Ahmed Emad al-Din.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm


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