Public sector pharmacists’ strike enters 2nd day

Egypt's government pharmacists continued protests over low salaries and delayed bonuses on Monday.

The strike covers pharmacies at government-run hospitals in Cairo, Alexandria and Kafr al-Sheikh, which have stopped selling medicine.

The protesters have threatened to escalate their action if officials fail to respond to their demands, most importantly equality with doctors in terms of financial and administrative rights, as well as the disbursement of incentives and a timetable for fulfilling the rest of their requests.

Government sources said the Health Ministry held a meeting Monday to discuss the crisis that was attended by the general secretary of the Pharmacists Syndicate, Abdallah Zine al-Abidine.

On Sunday, the syndicate's Alexandria branch secretary, Ahmed Salem, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Alexandria office will support the strike with all possible means and will not allow any protesting pharmacist to be harmed.

Salem said the syndicate will not accept the interrogation of any member over the strike, adding that they decided to take their action after their legitimate demands have been disregarded for months.

On 9 January, nearly 100 pharmacists in Kafr al-Sheikh protested at their syndicate over their low salaries compared to doctors and nurses at government hospitals. The pharmacists warned then that they would call for a strike if their demands are not met.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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