Doctors in Egypt threaten mass resignation as deaths of colleagues continue

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate issued a formal statement warning of a medical catastrophe in the absence of adequate arrangements of PPEs and tests for medical staff in the country

May 26, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Egypt doctors strike

Doctors at the Al-Munira hospital in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, have threatened to resign en masse after one of their colleagues, 32-year-old doctor Walid Yahya, died from COVID-19 on May 24, Sunday. The doctors’ statement was issued on social media the followed day, on May 25. 

Doctors complained that the ministry of health in Egypt has not provided them with enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and has failed to take effective quarantine measures, leading to a higher number of infections among the medical staff. Some of them also complained of the lack of enough testing for the medical staff.

A few doctors in other hospitals in Cairo have already resigned protesting the lack of equipment, tests and adequate facilities.   

As per reports on Sunday, four doctors, including Walid, died within 24 hours due to COVID-19, forcing the Egyptian Medical Syndicate (EMS), a national union of doctors in Egypt, to release a statement warning of a medical catastrophe in the country. The statement claims that the health system in the country could completely collapse due to “failure and negligence of the ministry of health”.      

According to the EMS, 19 doctors have died due to COVID-19 in Egypt since March, of a total 350 who tested positive.  

Some doctors also alleged double standards adopted by the health ministry, with certain influential people being provided unnecessary attention and facilities at a time when even doctors are suffering from the lack of basic facilities in their day-to-day struggle against the disease.

Health minister Hala Zayed initially tried to belittle the issue but was forced to conduct a video conference with the medical staff on Monday, wherein she assured adequate supply of medical equipment.  

As of May 25, 17,967 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Egypt, with 783 deaths.