Head of Imbaba Hospital referred over violations

Ahram Online, Tuesday 13 May 2014

Egypt's health minister makes unannounced visits to several Cairo hospitals and reports a number of offences

Minister of Health, Adel Adawy, while visiting Imbaba hospital in Giza (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A number of officials in public hospitals in Cairo were referred to authorities on Tuesday after a series of surprise visits by Egypt's health minister found them guilty of violations ranging from poor hygiene to neglect of patients, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

Health Minister Adel Adawy visited the hospitals in Cairo and Giza to evaluate their capacity to receive new suspected cases of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a source of great concern for Egyptian officials since an outbreak was first reported in neighbouring Saudi Arabia last month.

On Monday, the first reported case of MERS in Egypt was reported to have been cured, according to the director of Abassiya Hospital for Chest Diseases.

The health minister on Tuesday also checked on the quality of the hospitals' medical services.

Among the officials referred by Adawy's investigations was the head of Imbaba Hospital in Giza governorate, who was criticised for the hospital's unhygienic conditions.

The minister also found a 13-year-old boy who had been kept in the hospital for five consecutive days without being diagnosed.

In a speech to all the hospital's doctors and nurses afterwards, Adawy said that "any patient who enters the hospital is one of our people and the state has to pay the costs of his treatment, so don't neglect our people."

Adawy and the health ministry have been targeted recently by Egypt's health care professionals, who have led a series of intermittent partial strikes since the 2011 revolution to demand higher wages and improvements in the country's health care sector.

However, the Doctors' Syndicate announced earlier this week that it would postpone its two-month-long partial strike after the Egyptian cabinet amended a law dealing with healthcare employees to offer some of the striking doctors' long-requested demands.

The newly-amended law provides "periodic training plans" and payment of the tuition fees of all medical workers who wish to get a master's degree in their field. It also specifies an incentive for those working in emergency and ambulance services.

A third concession is a specific risk allowance for medical professions, ranging from LE400-700 ($57-100), to be given gradually over one year.

However, the doctors' demand of improving Egypt's health care system has yet to be granted. 

Egypt allocates 3 percent of its GNP to healthcare, a number that many doctors have described as insufficient to develop the country's deteriorating health care sector.


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