Medical examiners strike for better security following assaults

Medical examiners continued striking for the fourth consecutive day on Monday to demand better working conditions.

A source from within the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the authority’s senior doctors were divided over whether to continue the strike, due to fears that relatives of the deceased might storm the morgue if there was a delay in burying the bodies.

The medical examiners are complaining that the lack of morgue security leaves them vulnerable to angry relatives who oppose autopsies for their relatives or insist on unnecessary autopsies.

The protesters also want a cleaning firm hired, saying the authority is now in a “miserable” condition. Several protesters who requested anonymity said an assault on one of their colleagues in the morgue 10 days ago and the shooting of another colleague in Ismailia were the main motives behind the strike.

They said they would continue their strike until all their demands are met, noting that nearly a month ago they presented a list of 18 demands to the head of the authority. They said their demands, which did not include any financial requests, were ignored.

President of the Forensic Medical Authority Ihsan Kamil said he submitted a memorandum to Mohamed Farghaly, assistant minister for justice and forensic experts. Kamil said Farghaly had agreed to meet the doctors’ demands.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Magda Hilal said she supports the protesters' demands, saying they were “suffering from a sense of insecurity, and that the relatives assaulted them.”

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