The headquarters of Egypt's Doctors' Syndicate in Cairo (Al-Ahram)
The Egyptian Doctors Syndicate has demanded Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly apologise for saying that the absence of “a number of doctors” from their posts at hospitals is the reason behind the recent surge in the number of coronavirus fatalities.
In a statement on Tuesday, the syndicate said that the prime minister had ignored the real reasons behind the surge: a lack of capacity, medical supplies and ICU beds.
In a televised briefing earlier on Tuesday to announce the easing of some restrictions put in place in light of the pandemic, Madbouly said that a number of doctors and medical staff had been absent from work, and instructed governors to deal with the matter.
“Since the start of the pandemic, Egyptian doctors have presented the greatest examples of sacrifice at work, under huge pressure from these difficult circumstances, a lack of PPE in some hospitals, and the continuous attacks on medical teams, while everybody is watching,” read the syndicate statement.
The syndicate said the premier’s comments would incite additional anger directed at doctors and would increase attacks by patients and their families on medical staff.
The syndicate, which functions as a union for the country’s physicians, has previously said a law criminalising attacks on doctors should be issued.
“We call on the prime minister to check the lists of doctors’ deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of doctors who have been martyred has reached 100, while the number of cases among doctors is over 3,000,” the syndicate said.