A group of striking nurses from the Amiry Hospital in Alexandria condemned the investigations into their strike following the deaths of two patients, according to a statement released online.
Night-shift nurses began their strike at Alexandria University’s Amiry Hospital during their Thursday shift, with 17 staff members suspected of inciting the strikes, during which two patients died.
“We were accused of killing two patients before the police investigations ended,” the nurses wrote in the statement. “The fierce campaign launched by mainstream media against our strike found us guilty without investigations.”
The Minister of Higher Education Al-Sayed Abdel Khaleq said in a Saturday interview on Al-Hayat television network the nurses do not have the right to strike. He said they could have delivered their demands in several other forms. He also added that strict penalties will be enforced if they are found guilty of causing the deaths of the patients.
The nurses say they are on strike due to their not having been paid since September as a result of administrative delays. According to their statement, they tried requesting their financial dues in official meetings with the hospital administration on several occasions, but no response was made. They also added that they will escalate the strike if any personal attack occurs against staff members who are currently being investigated.
They called on the nurses syndicate director to support their cause, and on the media to stop framing them as guilty without shedding light on the reasons behind the strike.
The nurses also announced that they will hold a press conference to clarify the reasons for their strike, the statement said, though no date was mentioned.
The statement also stressed the vital role nurses play in saving people’s lives and that they did not intend to cause the death of any patient.