As the second wave intensifies… Egyptian doctors are fighting Corona and the regime

A continuing tragedy, worsening conditions, and falling victims without any rights is the case of Egyptian doctors who face the threat of the epidemic and the regime’s intransigence with their most basic demands and rights.

Coronavirus epidemic has entered its second year, amid warnings of the danger of the second wave and the spread of a new strain of the virus. Yet, the conditions of doctors in Egypt have remained without improvement or change.

Over the past months, the Egyptian regime has contented itself with cajoling doctors, calling them the White Army of Egypt in the media. Still, while doctors and medical personnel are dying, the government has not tried to alleviate their suffering. A whole year in which doctors face the epidemic in dilapidated hospitals, equipment, equipment, and medicines are scarce, and the state did not even provide the means of protection from masks and disinfectants to them.

According to the Doctors Syndicate statement, the number of doctors ’victims due to the Coronavirus has reached 247 in one year. The number is expected to rise, especially since the deaths of doctors with the virus are almost daily. The doctors complained about the tragic conditions with old complaints about the modesty of the infection allowance that they receive of only 19 pounds, in addition to the meager pension in the event of death or termination of service.

Some doctors thought that the opportunity had become ripe for them to claim some of their rights in light of the pandemic, but they were surprised when they intercepted on social media that they were arrested so that some of them are still in prison until now. Doctors calling for an improvement in conditions in light of the spread of Corona faced well-known political charges that the regime attached to any opposition, such as spreading rumors and misuse of social media.

A two-front war

Thus, doctors found themselves in a two-front war, inside hospitals, amid infections, patients by the thousands, and a virus that reaps among their colleagues, and before a system that circumvents their demands and silences their anger with painkillers. In mid-March, the General Syndicate of Physicians addressed the presidency and the government to raise the value of the infection allowance that doctors receive, similar to the judges who receive 3,000 pounds as an infection allowance.

As doctors are most vulnerable to infection because of their inevitable presence among patients to take care of them, explaining that what doctors receive is not commensurate with the health risks they are exposed to by virtue of their profession. Last May, the doctors received a promise from the Prime Minister that the Coronavirus victims would-be considered martyrs, which has not happened until now.

In an attempt to appease the medical staff, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi agreed to increase the medical professions allowance by 75% over what is in place, which ranges between 400 and 700 pounds, which was considered by doctors as a circumvention of their demands. Simultaneously, doctors continued to fall victim amid complaints of the lack of preventive and protective measures, such as medical gloves, disinfectants, and medical masks, and not taking swabs for the injured or close contacts.

Video clips of doctors and medical staff spread criticizing the Ministry of Health’s handling of the Corona crisis and the regime’s disregard for their demands. The regime response was surprising to the doctors, as the security services launched a campaign of several doctors’ arrests, and the National Security Forces threatened all health workers with imprisonment and accountability if they organized protest vigils.

Donate to Doctors

The tragedy of doctors continues and reappears these days after the second wave of the virus intensified and the emergence of new, faster-spreading strains. The government was quick to prevent obtaining licenses for medical staff in order to face the shortage in the number of doctors, as hospitals have witnessed a deficit in all specialties over the past years. In the face of doctors ’demands that the system does not heed, the Doctors Syndicate did not find a solution except to open the door for donations to doctors afflicted by sick and deceased patients, whose pensions the government refused to increase or consider them as martyrs.

The Syndicate announced a special account number to receive donations to support the Social Welfare Fund of the Social Committee of the General Syndicate of Physicians, which was disavowed by some and considered it a disgrace to pursue doctors. The Corona pandemic continues to reveal the extent of the collapse that affected many sectors in the country, the most important of which are the health and education sectors resulting from weak allocations in the state budget, the inability of cadres, and the collapse of the infrastructure.