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Egypt's Doctors Plan Resignations to Pressure Government

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Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Egyptian doctors on a partial strike have begun to gather resignations to ramp up pressure on the government, which they say has neglected their demands for better pay and an improved health-care system.

Physicians will hand in their resignations en masse when they reach at least 15,000, said Amr El-Shora, a board member of the strike’s general committee who quit yesterday. Egypt has from 46,000 to 53,000 doctors, he said.

“We’ve been striking for 15 days now while the government turns a blind eye to our demands,” El-Shora said in a phone interview today. “Doctors can’t offer services to patients in the current hospital conditions of filth, chaos and lack of security.”

Doctors began a partial strike on Oct. 1, demanding the enforcement of stricter security laws, higher salaries and an increase in the state health budget to 15 percent of the total budget from 5 percent.

Assistant Health Minister Ibrahim Mostafa said the ministry will recommend that the physicians who quit be investigated to determine if their resignations “obstruct work in public health facilities and put the lives of patients at risk,” al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported today, citing an interview.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tarek El-Tablawy at teltablawy@bloomberg.net

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