The Medical Services Workers Syndicate expressed its disappointment with the governmental proposition to increase wage bonuses by only 50% for medical administrative staff workers, while doctors are to be granted a huge 600% increase.
Secretary-General of the Medical Services Workers Syndicate Magdy Awad said: “The government’s decision does not bring social justice to the workers within the medical sector where the differences in bonus increases are vast…although the functional duties of both parties are equally vital.”
He added that the 600% will apply to physicians, dentists, veterinarians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, scientists and nurses while administrators, engineers, medical device technicians, and supporting services personnel will only benefit from a 50% increase.
According to the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, the proposition was suggested during a meeting between them and the Ministry of Health. It is expected to come into effect on 1January.
The Doctors Syndicate has been calling for a legislated Staff Law which organises administrative, technical and financial matters of the medical community as a whole.
On 31 July a delegation from Doctors Without Rights discussed ways to improve the healthcare system with Health Minister Maha Al-Rabat. Al-Rabat, who was appointed on 16 July, said that after her appointment, the “staff law at the top of [her] priorities,” adding that “The ministry is not in confrontation with doctors, but that it is on their side and wants to help pass the staff law, raise the health budget and secure hospitals.”
Dr Emteyaz Hassouna of the Doctors Syndicate and Doctors Without Rights said: “Although being demanded for over a year now, the law is currently completely overlooked and the Ministry’s proposition to increase the bonuses is an attempt to compensate their lack of commitment towards the staff law.”
“Other institutions in this country have laws which regulate their rights and bonuses such as the military and judiciary… Our jobs are more dangerous and I do not see a reason to bar the application of the staff law,” Hassouna added.
“Bonuses are temporary; staff law is permanent” she said.
A source inside the Medical Services Workers Syndicate stated that there is absolutely no conflict with the Doctors Syndicate, called on the inclusion of medical service workers within the staff law and stressed their refusal of the proposition.
“The Ministry of Health said that the bonuses will be decided as a percentage of the budget of the Medical Workers Syndicate and not the Ministry of Health’s budget… this will create problems because if the syndicate does not have money, no bonuses will be given to the workers,” the source said.
“A General Assembly meeting will be held on 17 November where the bonuses and staff law will be discussed… there are no plans to strike,” the source added.
The Ministry of Health spokesman said that the ministry has not been informed of the predicament, adding that “no new updates are present regarding the staff law.”