A Facebook page aimed at raising awareness about the conditions of hospitals in Egypt, created in response to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb’s surprise visits to healthcare facilities, has garnered over 183,000 fans in less than 48 hours.
The viral page publishes images of extremely poor hospital conditions from across the country, sent in by doctors who work at these facilities.
The page is titled “So he is not surprised if he comes,” a direct reference to Mehleb, who expressed surprise and dismay at the conditions of hospitals he saw during his visit last Saturday to the National Heart Institute and other facilities. Mehleb subsequently ordered the dismissal of top officials at these institutions.
The page administrators are working around the clock to post pictures sent from doctors across the country, with over 250 pictures so far from Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Daqahleya and Arish, among other governorates.
Most pictures show stray cats, dogs, and sometimes other livestock, wandering inside healthcare facilities, while others show unclean and damaged bathrooms, beds and ceilings, as well as mouse droppings. Some of the most shocking pictures show snakes inside hospitals in Cairo’s Boulaq Aboul Ela district, as well as in Minya.
The page’s administrators also require that doctors who send in photographs clarify when the image was taken, adding that some of the pictures posted are barely a day old.
The Doctors Syndicate indicated that over 140,000 doctors have participated in the campaign in a statement Tuesday.
On the Facebook page however, the campaign clarified that they are not associated with the syndicate, and that any members of the syndicate who spoke out did so to relay the situation in their capacity as part of the healthcare system.
“This is not to attack the syndicate, but to clarify,” the Facebook post said, adding that the syndicate had not contacted them or contributed any images to the page.
In a phone interview on Mehwar satellite channel, head of the Doctors Syndicate, Mona Mina, said she doesn’t understand why the prime minister appeared to be taken aback. The healthcare system’s problems, she added, will only improve with “changing policies, not individuals.”
The syndicate had issued a statement on Sunday following Mehleb’s visit, saying that the syndicate itself is surprised at Mehleb’s reaction to issues that have been expressed time and again, with no measures taken to resolve them.
“It is only logical that these issues continue,” the statement read. “Sacking the head of the National Heart Institute won’t change anything.”
Inspired by this campaign, another Facebook page with the same name was created to expose the poor condition of schools in the country.