Business Magazine

Egyptian Doctors and Freedom of Information

Posted on the 07 November 2012 by Center For International Private Enterprise
Egyptian Doctors and Freedom of Information

Egyptian doctors on strike. (Photo: Mai Shaheen/Ahram Online)

With all that is going on in Egypt these days, it is hard to take our eyes off of the Constitutional Assembly and the constitution drafting process. Yet if you look around the country, you will begin to see that the members of the constituent assembly are not the only ones mobilizing to secure support for broad-based reforms in the country. Last month, Egyptian doctors began to protest to demand better pay and working conditions.

Doctors have been on a partial strike since October 1 to demand an increase in health spending to 15 percent of the state budget, wage increases, and better healthcare standards and security at hospitals. A salary for a recently graduated doctor is 200 Egyptian pounds ($32.70) a month. But low pay is not the only thing new doctors have to worry about. Recently, there were two separate incidents where assailants attacked hospitals in Shubra (Cairo), and in the Al-Qantara Sharq (governorate of Isamaila).

The problems that plague the healthcare industry are endemic to the public sector as a whole, where public sector employees are paid very low salaries compared to other industries. With the dire state of the economy, it will be difficult for the Morsi Administration to raise salaries for doctors and other public sector employees without significant cuts in other areas. So where should the money come from? In the long run, the only solution will be to fix the underlying issues of corruption and bad governance.

As with many industries in Egypt, the healthcare industry suffers from inefficiencies, corruption, and poor governance. These problems trickle down to doctors in the form of low pay and bad working conditions, as well as to patients, who suffer due to inaccurate and untimely information on their health. So what should the government do about it? One key area where reforms can be made that may alleviate some of the burdens of bureaucracy on the industry is the adoption of a Freedom of Information Law.

A Freedom of Information law would benefit many industries, but especially healthcare. Allowing a patient to receive accurate and timely information on his or her health should be a benchmark on any reforms made to the industry. The flow of information on how the healthcare system is run is also critical for enforcing accountability, mitigating vulnerability to corruption, eliminating resource duplication, reducing waste, and achieving maximum utilization of core competencies. A Freedom of Information Law should complement broader changes made to the healthcare industry, including the formulation of guidelines for good governance and transparency that incorporate broad-based participation from stakeholders as well as best practices from other countries’ healthcare systems to ensure comprehensive, yet applicable guidelines.

Recently, the United Group, with the help of CIPE, has submitted a proposed draft freedom of information law that would expand on the right for the public to access information and would set up mechanisms that enable and ensure that citizens are able to exercise their rights. This is a good first step. Hopefully, after the constitution drafting process is over and new members of the Parliament are elected into office this proposed law will be one of the first that they deliberate on.

The resulting free flow of information would benefit many more sectors of society than just the healthcare system. Educating civil society on its rights to receive proper information will strengthen the principles of public participation and involve for a better representation of stakeholders to advocate for reforms, which are needed in many industries and government services.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Inevitability

    Choosing the Possible over the Inevitable inevitability – noun the quality or state of being impossible to avoid or evade – Merriam-Webster FoxNews Don’t get... Read more

    The 24 August 2014 by   Eowyn
    DEBATE, POLITICS, SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • Narcissism As Lay Betting

    When you bet on the body, you bet on a losing horse. - Buddhist sayingUnlike lay betting though, this sort of bet can never win. The aging narcissist can only... Read more

    The 23 August 2014 by   Calvinthedog
    POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Does Submitting to Governing Authorities Mean Ones Like ISIS Or Obama?

    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans... Read more

    The 21 August 2014 by   Elizabethprata
    SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • God is Great Even During Gang Rapes

    Michael L.Our friends in the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq are so pious that they even pray to Allah during gang rapes.The entire west should be outraged at... Read more

    The 20 August 2014 by   Mikelumish
    DEBATE, SOCIETY
  • Headline of the Day

    Egypt Urges US Restraint Over Missouri Unrest -- Business Insider from the article: Egypt on Tuesday urged U.S. authorities to exercise restraint in dealing wit... Read more

    The 20 August 2014 by   Gldmeier
    RELIGION, SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • Voices from Inside the Burqa

    Former Muslim women speak out H/t http://www.wikiislam.net “I realised Islam was a fake religion, created only for Arabs (and other similarly-minded people) to... Read more

    The 20 August 2014 by   Eowyn
    DEBATE, POLITICS, SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY
  • Egyptian Imam Says It’s OK to Be a Peeping Tom

    Usama al-Qawsi Damien Gayle reports for the UK’s Daily Mail, Aug. 19, 2014, that a hardline Islamic imam from Egypt this week made waves in the Middle East afte... Read more

    The 19 August 2014 by   Eowyn
    DEBATE, POLITICS, SOCIETY, SPIRITUALITY

COMMENTS ( 1 )

By Franchescia
posted on 13 December at 07:15
Report spam/abuse

That is so cool about your fellow stedunts! 3 from Washington state, what are the odds? What cities are they from?And those digs, so swank! Rasha's parents are living in style.So glad to see you made it safely and you're rolling with the rest of the Egyptians! ~ Peace out, BridgeBtw, what's in an Egyptian sandwich?

Add a comment