Egypt's Doctors Syndicate has strongly rejected a suggestion by a military academy chief to allow pharmacists to shift their profession to become physicians after obtaining the necessary equivalency studies amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The syndicate "totally rejected this suggestion as it harms Egyptian citizens’ health and Egypt's medical reputation globally," it said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Each group in the medical staff has a very important role conducted under professional and scientific principles depending on the type of theoretical and practical studies received over long years,” the statement said, adding that no group in the profession can replace another.
The syndicate was addressing a suggestion by Military Medical Academy chief Ahmed El-Tawdi, who had earlier sent an invitation to the head of the Doctors Syndicate to attend a meeting this week to discuss the matter.
The syndicate said the issue would affect Egypt’s medical reputation abroad, as there is “no precedent” for such a move in the modern history of the profession.
“Those seeking to join the medical profession and be responsible for Egyptians’ lives should join medicine faculties, with a license of practice given only upon their training and graduation,” it said.
Egypt is attempting to fill gaps in its health sector as the number of infections from the pandemic continues to rise daily, risking its hospitals’ capacities.
Several healthcare facilities in Egypt have detected cases among their doctors and nurses in the past weeks, triggering fears that the outbreak would hit the country’s overwhelmed healthcare sector.