Home / news / A year of the pandemic … Egyptian doctors between government neglect and the risks of Corona

A year of the pandemic … Egyptian doctors between government neglect and the risks of Corona

The deaths of medical personnel continue to fall in Egypt, amid fears of the outbreak of the second wave of the Corona virus, and the emergence of a new strain of the virus, with Egyptian officials in the health sector confirming that the number of infected people is many times the officially announced.

The 247th victim joined the list of doctors’ deaths due to the Corona virus in Egypt, according to a statement by the Doctors Syndicate today, Tuesday.

This comes while Corona injuries in Egypt have witnessed a clear increase during the past days, according to official figures that talked about the registration of 718 cases yesterday, Monday, with 32 deaths, bringing the total to more than 126 thousand injuries and 7130 deaths.

Meanwhile, a member of the National Committee, Dr. Mohamed El-Nady, said, in televised statements two days ago, that the real number of Corona injuries in Egypt is 10 times higher than the one declared, and “we will be courteous as well, because this is the lowest estimate.”

Since the start of the crisis; Doctors found themselves facing the virus with an infection allowance of only 19 pounds per month (the dollar is about 16 pounds), and a modest pension in the event of death, to enter into two parallel battles, the first with the virus, and the second with the Ministry of Health to correct their financial situation and confront the shortage of medical resources and supplies.

When doctors tried to intercept through social media, some of them were arrested on political charges such as spreading rumors and misusing social media, and some of them are still in prison so far.

The beginning of the crisis

The beginning was in early February, after the Egyptian Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, announced the allocation of Al-Nujaila Central Hospital, west of the city of Marsa Matruh, in the north of the country, as the first isolation hospital for Corona patients, and contracting with doctors to work there without informing them of the nature of the task, and without training on ways to confront the new virus .

This was confirmed by the General Secretary of the Doctors Syndicate, Ihab Al-Taher, that some doctors deceived them and did not know the nature of the task entrusted to them, and said in statements to Al-Jazeera Net, “Some doctors went there without knowing the details of the reasons for their presence there.”

Although the crisis was remedied later, but Al-Taher emphasized that “it was a priority to have transparency in dealing with the Corona virus,” indicating that “it was necessary for doctors to be informed of the nature of the task assigned to them, and to train them properly to deal with the virus, so that it is Reassured doctor. “

Injuries and deaths

The Damietta Governorate, north of Cairo, recorded the first infection with the Coronavirus among doctors, for a doctor who was treating one of the infected cases in Al-Sadr Hospital, and he was transferred to the quarantine in Ismailia, before the number of cases continued among the doctors.

With the continued lack of equipment, means of prevention and protection, such as medical gloves, disinfectants, and medical masks, and no swabs were taken for the injured or close contacts, video clips of doctors and medical personnel criticizing the Ministry of Health’s handling of the crisis spread.

The government responded with a campaign of arrests of a number of doctors, issuing instructions to the National Security to intervene and threatening all health workers with imprisonment and accountability in the event that they organized protests, which was confirmed at the time by a worker at the Sheikh Zayed Specialist Hospital in Sheikh Zayed City in the Giza Governorate.

In a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, he indicated that some workers organized a protest on the hospital campus after the number of injuries increased among them, and the administration refused to conduct analyzes for them, and threatened them to bring national security and arrest them.

Battle with the government

In mid-March, the General Syndicate of Physicians addressed the presidency and the government to raise the value of the infection allowance, which doctors receive, similar to the judges who receive 3 thousand pounds as an infection allowance, while doctors are the most vulnerable to infection because of their inevitable presence among patients to take care of them.

Deputies expressed solidarity with the doctors and demanded an increase in the infection allowance for doctors from 19 pounds to 3,000 pounds, in the draft of the new state budget for the fiscal year 2020/2021, especially since what doctors receive is not commensurate with the health risks they are exposed to by virtue of their profession, which did not happen.

In the same month, two doctors died from the Coronavirus, which prompted the Doctors Syndicate to urgently demand equality for the injured and deceased with “Corona” from the medical staff, for the martyrs and casualties of war operations in accordance with Law 16 of 2018, a law passed by Parliament with the aim of honoring martyrs, victims and missing persons And the victims of military, terrorist and security operations and their families, and support and care for them in all social, health, educational and other aspects, and disbursing the compensation due to them in accordance with the provisions of the law.

The government is fulfilling its promises

In an attempt to appease the medical staff (doctors – nurses), President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi agreed to increase the medical professions allowance by 75% over the existing one, which ranges between 400 and 700 pounds, which the doctors considered a circumvention of their demands.

With the doctors ’anger and insistence to fulfill their demands, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and the advisor to the President of the Republic for Health Awad Taj al-Din met with the President of the Doctors’ Syndicate, Hussein Khairy, last May, and promised that the victims of the Corona virus among the doctors were martyrs, which has not happened until now.

The crisis escalated – according to doctors – after the local authorities pursued private doctors’ clinics, after Sisi demanded the governors to maximize the resources of their governorates, as they demanded that doctors pay reconciliation fees for building violations, for clinics that were established without modifying the purpose of the property from residential purposes for commercial purposes.

The Doctors Syndicate responded that these clinics are registered with the Syndicate and licensed by the administrative authority in accordance with the Establishments Law No. 51 of 1981. They are amended by Law 153 of 2004 and they have never circumvented this law.

With the passage of 2020, the double crisis of doctors with Corona and the government remained the same, your place of secrecy, and the union did not find it seemed from allocating a special account number to receive donations to support the Social Welfare Fund of the Social Committee of the General Syndicate of Physicians, which some disavowed and considered it a disgrace for doctors.

The state abdicates its role and the government has not fulfilled its promises

The Commissioner of the General Syndicate for the Defense of Doctors and the former reporter of the Legal and Freedoms Committee of the Syndicate, Ahmed Shousha, expressed his rejection of such donations, and said, “This farce cannot be accepted, and the state abandoned its role towards the first line of Egypt and Egyptians in wars, crises, epidemics and disasters.”

In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Shousha confirmed that the Egyptian government has not yet implemented its promises to the Doctors Syndicate despite the passage of nearly half a year since the meeting that brought together the President of the Doctors’ Syndicate with the Prime Minister, which confirms the lack of political will to correct the wrong conditions.

And I must note – and the conversation is still confused – that any member of the health system, should not be less than any officer or soldier in the army and police, we do not want exceptions or grants, but we want to put everything in its correct order, and what the doctor gets It is worth nothing about his sacrifice of himself and his family, as the doctor who catches our Corona affects his family and how many thousands have died as a result of transmitting the infection to them.

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