Egyptian Doctors' Syndicate sues MP for violating coronavirus measures, patients’ privacy

Mohamed Soliman , Thursday 14 May 2020

The complaint, filed with the public prosecutor, alleges that Elhamy Agina verbally assaulted staff and endangered patients during a hospital visit Saturday

Egypt's Doctors Syndicate (Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Doctors' Syndicate submitted a report to the country’s public prosecutor Thursday against Member of Parliament Elhamy Agina for allegedly committing gross violations against the medics and patients of a Daqahliyah governorate hospital.

The syndicate accused the parliamentarian of violating coronavirus precautions and patients' privacy during his visit to Sherbin General Hospital in the Nile Delta's Daqahliyah governorate Saturday.

On Sunday, Agina posted a video on his Facebook page showing him in altercations with hospital staffer during Saturday's visit. The parliamentarian had accused workers of negligence while the hospital and the syndicate accused him of storming the facility and verbally assaulting staff.

The syndicate said, in the report, that doctors were surprised to see a three-minute video published on Agina's official Facebook page accusing staff of Sherbin Hospital of negligence in the care of patients.

"The complainee's act represents a gross violation of the Egyptian constitution and laws, in addition to using his position and parliamentary immunity to intimidate and threaten public officials while on duty, which disrupted work at a public facility," the syndicate stated.

It also accused the MP of breaching preventative measures issued by the Egyptian prime minister, health ministry, and World Health Organisation by "stepping into the hospital with a number of his companions without compliance with coronavirus precautions, which put the facility's workers and patients' health at risk."

"Agina and his companions were standing close to those [staff members and patients in the hospital] who dealt with him. He was yelling at their faces, which exposed them to the risk of infection,” the syndicate said.

Agina also violated the privacy of patients in trying to photocopy a medical report of one of the patients, according to the syndicate's report.

The MP also shot a video of patients receiving medical care without obtaining prior permission, on the pretext of proving the failure of medical staff.

The syndicate added that the MP had intimidated and verbally insulted medics, instead of supporting and raising their spirits in light of the current circumstances of the highly contagious virus.

Parliament's staff office decided earlier to summon the MP over the Sherbin Hospital incident, according to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Soliman Wahdan.

Contacted by Ahram Online, Elhamy Agina was not immediately available for comment.

The incident was denounced by many doctors who have taken to social media to complain about the MP’s behaviour.

However, the MP denied, via a live video on his page Monday, the syndicate's accusations, noting that he visited the hospital upon receiving a call from a patient's son who complained about the level of service at the facility and the bad health condition of his father, who has been confined there.

He added that the false accusations have had a positive side, with hospital performance surging in the last 24 hours.

Agina stressed that he respects the medical staff, pointing out that he is entitled to monitor the hospital that lies in the constituency he represents in the House of Representatives.

Egypt's Doctors' Syndicate announced Thursday the 10th physician, Karim Mahmoud, head of internal medicine at Luxor International Hospital, died after contracting coronavirus. 

On Tuesday, the Nursing Syndicate reported that six nurses nationwide died nationwide after contracting the virus.

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