Doctors Syndicate leaders summoned by prosecution over Matareya Hospital incident

Doctors Syndicate head Hussein Khairy and board member Mona Mina were both summoned by the prosecution on Saturday in relation to an incident at Matareya Hospital, in which two doctors were reportedly assaulted by police officers, the syndicate said in a statement on Saturday.

A number of low-ranking policemen reportedly attempted to get physicians at Matareya Hospital to falsify medical reports in their favor, assaulting them when they refused. The doctors tried to file a case at Matareya police station against the policemen, but were threatened with arrest and forced to drop the charges. In response, the hospital’s administrative board filed its own lawsuit against the policemen in cooperation with the Doctors Syndicate.

Both Khairy and Mina were summoned to give testimony concerning an official complaint they filed on behalf of the syndicate against the Interior Ministry, Hany Mahany, a doctor at Matareya Hospital wrote on Facebook. The syndicate demanded an official investigation into the matter and requested that the policemen be referred to court.

The Doctors Syndicate closed Matareya Hospital in protest until the demands of the doctors are met, threatening group resignations if they aren’t.

Amid threats of escalating protests and a general strike by the Doctors Syndicate, the Ministry of Interior reportedly suspended eight policemen involved in the incident and referred them to internal investigations on Sunday, Abu Bakr Abdel Karim, the ministry’s official spokesperson, announced in a televised interview.

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadiq ordered the reopening of the hospital on Friday, so as not to illegally obstruct the work of a public facility, but the syndicate said the closure would continue.

Both Mina and Khairy met with parliamentarians and Interior Ministry officials, offering to reopen the hospital in return for an official apology from the Interior Ministry, which was declined. The two were subjected to a slander campaign from pro-government media and parliamentarians, who accused them of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Nonetheless, on February 12, the Doctors General Syndicate is scheduled to convene an emergency general assembly session to determine if its physicians will escalate their protest into a nationwide work stoppage of non-essential medical treatment and services in Egypt’s public hospitals, which they said they would do if the policemen in question are not held accountable for their actions. 

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