Doctors in Egypt have threatened to strike if their demands over pay are not met. They are the latest group to join a wave of popular unrest led by Egyptian workers and peasants against the US-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Hamdy el-Sayyed, head of the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate, said the wages paid by the health ministry to junior doctors are not enough to cover the costs of transport and studying.
“We want to offer a high standard of healthcare in Egypt,” he said. “We don’t want doctors to have to absent themselves from their hospital duties in order to run after work in [private] clinics.”
The fact that doctors are talking about strikes underlines how deep the anger against Mubarak runs in Egyptian society.
Last month thousands of workers at the Ghazi el-Mahalla textile mill staged a mass demonstration demanding higher wages and chanted slogans against Mubarak and his cronies.
The Egyptian movement is organising the Sixth Cairo Conference on 27-30 March. This will bring together activists from across the globe to challenge war and neoliberalism.
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