Amid doctor strikes, officials intervene to end spat between doctor, policeman

An argument between a doctor and a policeman received unusual attention from state bodies, as officials from the Giza Governorate, the Health Ministry and the Interior Ministry stepped in to mediate a reconciliation, the Doctors Syndicate reported. The swift intervention by officials may have aimed to avoid further escalation at the ongoing doctor protest movement.

The altercation began when the policeman arrived at the Bulaq General Hospital in Giza with his father and insisted that the doctor abandon an emergency case to tend to him, the syndicate reported.The father was back at the hospital to have his bandage changed after undergoing an operation the week before. A verbal fight then broke out between the police officer and the doctor.

The situation quickly escalated as other doctors moved to detain the policeman inside the hospital, refusing to release him until officials arrived. After government representatives stepped in to negotiate, the doctor agreed to reconcile and did not press charges.

A recent wave of doctor strikes erupted nationwide after two physicians were assaulted by two policemen last month at the Matareya Hospital when they refused to falsify medical reports for them.

Around 10,000 doctors turned up for an extraordinary general assembly meeting at the Doctors Syndicate last Friday, where they voted in favor of 18 decisions, including holding nationwide protests on February 20 in hospitals across Egypt. Several hospitals have also held strikes in protest against the incident, and other medical bodies have expressed their solidarity with the striking doctors, including the Pharmacists Syndicate.

The strike movement comes amid a security crackdown by the state that has severely diminished street and political demonstrations.


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