Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1282, (11- 17 February 2016)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1282, (11- 17 February 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Hospital strike suspended

Al-Matariya Hospital has reopened after doctors agreed tosuspend their strike,reports Mohamed Abdel-Baky

Doctors' Syndicate
Al-Ahram Weekly

Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek has ordered Al-Matariya Hospital to reopen after doctors went on strike after claiming they were assaulted by policemen on 28 January.

The office of the prosecutor-general issued a statement on 4 February saying that the closure of the hospital is a “crime”. Sadek said an investigation into the closure of the hospital has begun and threatened to take legal action against those responsible for the withdrawal of medical services.

Doctors went on strike last week after two of their colleagues were reportedly assaulted by a group of policemen.

“We have urged doctors to open the hospital,” said a statement issued by the Doctors Syndicate.  “We respect the law. The doctors will suspend their strike and the hospital will be reopened.”

The striking doctors, who initially said they would return to work only when legal action was taken against the policemen, issued a statement on Saturday saying that while they will return to work they will reign en masse if the policemen are not prosecuted.

Mona Mina, deputy head of the Doctors Syndicate, told Al-Ahram Weekly the syndicate is supporting the doctors’ case against the policemen.

“Nobody is above the law, and nobody will intimidate doctors,” she said.

She added that she had been summoned to the prosecutor’s office where she was told policemen had filled 22 complaints accusing her of insulting the Ministry of Interior and inciting doctors to go on strike.

On 28 January, policeman Mohamed Radwan arrived at the hospital in plainclothes for treatment to a cut on his face. The striking doctors claim Radwan then asked the doctor examining him to include additional injuries in his medical report, which the doctor refused.

According to the doctors, Radwan returned to the hospital with a number of other policemen and assaulted the doctor who had treated him and his colleagues before taking them to the police station. Following their release, the doctors filed a complaint against the policemen with the prosecutor, only to be told that their alleged assailants had already filed their own complaint claiming that the doctors had attacked them.

Radwan, who says he received the cut to his face while chasing a criminal, told “Al-Ashera Masaa” TV talk show that he spent more than an hour at the hospital waiting to be treated and when he shouted at the doctors in the emergency room — some of them, he claimed, were sleeping — they began to beat him.

In a video published by Mobtada website last week, Ahmed Abdallah gives the doctors’ side of the story. Abdallah described how he was assaulted by a group of policemen after telling Radwan that his wound was superficial and did not require stitches. The police then handcuffed Abdallah and dragged him and a number of colleagues to their police station.

The Ministry of Interior has suspended eight policemen who were allegedly involved in the incident. A group of senior officers also visited the hospital to apologise to staff there.

“It was just a fight. We respect all of Egypt’s doctors,” said Minister of Interior Adel Abdel-Ghaffar at a press conference on 6 February. The policemen involved in the incident have all been referred to investigation and will be held accountable, he added.

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