Six syndicates consider general strike over health budget

Six medical syndicates said on Thursday that they were considering a general strike to protest the approval of the new health budget by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.  The new health budget accounts for 4.8 percent of the state budget, although workers in the health care system had requested a 15 percent increase to increase the efficiency of hospitals and to provide integrated health care to patients.

The six syndicates include the professional syndicates for doctors, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists, nurses and scientific professionals. They called on President Mohamed Morsy to intervene in order to fulfill his promises of increasing the health budget.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Doctors Syndicate said that its council will hold an urgent meeting on Thursday to discuss a request submitted by Syndicate Board member Abdel Rahman Gamal and a group of doctors calling for the organization of the general strike, which the syndicate had previously suggested in order to demand an a budget increase.

Gamal told Al-Masry Al-Youm that his request for the emergency general assembly meeting was approved and that they would discuss the implementation of an immediate nationwide strike that would include all health care providers.

Gamal criticized the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for seizing legislative authority and passing the state budget, and called on Morsy to raise the budget, saying the new budget was no different than the previous one implemented during the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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