Mohamed Abdullah - Cairo

The Corona virus crisis brought up the issue of a contamination allowance for doctors in Egypt, which amounts to only 19 pounds (a dollar less than 16 pounds), as the "white coat army" in the face of danger, especially in quarantine headquarters and hospitals.

The Physicians ’Union has been fighting for years for one of its most important battles with the government, to demand an increase in the value of the infection, which has not been any increase for a quarter of a century, as other groups that are not subject to infection - such as judges - get a allowance of three thousand pounds.

Interestingly, the medical class bravely confronts the virus, despite the 19 pounds, while judges suspended the work of the courts for two weeks, in the context of guarding against the spread of the virus.

In August 2018, the Supreme Administrative Court ended the judicial path in the infection allowance file for doctors, by accepting the appeal submitted by the State Cases Authority, and canceling a previous ruling by the administrative court obliging the government to increase the infection allowance for doctors, which was a severe blow to the union's efforts and trying to pass new legislation related to Increased infection allowance.

In mid-March, the General Union of Doctors addressed the presidency and the government to raise the value of the infection allowance, especially since they are the most vulnerable to infection, but without a response from the Egyptian authorities.

Solidarity with the doctors was some of the parliamentarians, where the deputy demanded Thuraya Al-Sheikh to raise the infection allowance for doctors from 19 pounds to three thousand pounds, in the draft of the new general budget of the state for the coming fiscal year, especially as what doctors receive is not commensurate with the health risks they are exposed to by virtue of their profession.

Hostages of infection

Damietta Governorate (north of the country) recorded the first infection with the Corona virus among doctors, which is a doctor who was treating one of the infected cases in Sadr Hospital, and he was transferred to the quarantine in Ismailia, before the cases continued to be attached to other doctors.

Not only do doctors complain of the weak value of the infection allowance, they also suffer during the current crisis from the lack of proper examination procedures, and the lack of the necessary capabilities, and the means of communication have turned into a single outlet through which doctors and nurses can sound the alarm to warn of the risks they face, criticizing the Minister of Health, Hala Zayed , And accused the ministry of not protecting medical teams from the Corona virus.

Political will

And on the Egyptian government's procrastination, and its neglect of the increase in the value of the doctors ’infection allowance, the first wall in the face of Corona; former Health Ministry spokesperson Yahya Moussa said,“ In my estimation, it is not related to the state’s financial deficit, and the evidence is that judges receive three thousand pounds a month as an allowance for infection, but There is a political will to not solve the health crisis in Egypt for several reasons. "

Commenting on Al-Jazeera Net, Moussa enumerated those reasons by saying that "the priority for the military and security sector in spending is to ensure loyalty and control of the system, especially in light of the financial crisis, and there is also the expulsive policy of doctors, and push them to work abroad to ensure that millions of dollars are transferred annually to the state treasury under insurance," Where the transfers of one hundred thousand Egyptian doctors working abroad are estimated at about three billion dollars.

Moussa warned that ignoring the repeated demands for more than two decades to save the health system in Egypt will cast a shadow over the results of the health situation in light of the current pandemic, adding, "The repercussions of the Corona disaster will depend greatly on the strength of the health system of each country, as well as its efficiency in managing the crisis." , And other fatalities related to the virus mutating to a less aggressive form, or being affected by summer heat, or the discovery of the vaccine in record time. "

Health priority

For his part, the former head of the health committee in the Egyptian Shura Council, Abdel-Ghaffar Salih, held the successive Egyptian governments responsible for the deteriorating health situation, saying, "The current system does not prioritize spending in the budget, according to a health and educational reform plan, which promotes these sectors with the highest priority, especially after a neglect that has spread More than a quarter of a century. "

Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Salih emphasized that the regime's priorities are only to support those who support the ruling seat, such as judges, the army and the police, adding, "But doctors and all health workers do not represent any priority," noting that the government is betting on the passage of the Corona crisis, and crises have passed. Other others.

He continued, "If the state wanted to reform the health system, it would not allow the emigration of thousands of doctors, pharmacists and others, and would put health in the priorities as did the parliament of the January 2011 revolution in its last session before the 2013 coup, when it approved" a special cadre "for workers in the health system."