The Doctors Syndicate announced on Saturday that it refuses to drop its call to dismiss Health Minister Adel al-Adawy from his position, state-owned Al-Ahram news portal reported.
The syndicate also demanded that the Health Ministry announce a clear and transparent plan to fix the health sector and share a timetable for the plan’s implementation, “through a national project to save the lives of Egyptians.”
The syndicate added that following wide circulation of photos exposing the dire state of public hospitals through the “so he is not surprised if he comes” Facebook page, the ministry’s response has been “the usual: emphasizing complete administrative failure, rather than searching for immediate and realistic solutions to the current situation.”
The statement condemned the Health Minister for “banning the publishing of photos showcasing negligence at hospitals”, rather than listening to the “outcry alerting us to the necessity of finding a swift solution.”
On June 18, several media outlets reported instructions made by the Health Minister to heads of health sectors, forcing physicians, nurses and all public hospitals’ staff to sign an avowal not to publish any pictures showing negative aspects of the public health sector or leak any information to the media.
“The minister and his ‘surprised’ government are not by any means concerned with the reality at hospitals and the daily victims of the system. They have no intention of reforming the situations,” the syndicate’s statement continues. “All they care about is protecting their own positions by preventing the photos that expose the truth from spreading.”
The “so he’s not surprised if he comes” Facebook page was created in direct response to the “surprise and dismay” expressed by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb at the conditions of hospitals during recent surprise visits he made to the National Heart Institute and other healthcare facilities.
The page, which aims at raising awareness regarding the public health sector in Egypt, garnered over 183,000 fans in less than 48 hours. It has over 317,000 fans today.
Hospital staff from all over the country continue to contribute images of extremely poor facilities to the page’s archive, including recurrent images of stray cats and dogs inside hospitals, damaged bathrooms, piles upon piles of hazardous waste that are yet to be disposed of and even snakes inside recovery rooms.
All images added to the page clarify the date and location in which they were taken.
According to a statement issued by the the Doctors Syndicate on June 9, over 140,000 doctors had participated in the campaign by then.
The identity of those who launched the campaign remains unknown to the public. Health Minister Adel al-Adawy had reportedly told Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb that the administrator of the page was an Egyptian doctor residing in Saudi Arabia.
However, the page denied the minister’s allegations, and emphasized that the two administrators work at public hospitals in Egypt.