The decision for hospitals to begin playing the national anthem has come into effect on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health spokesman Khaled Megahed delivered to state TV. The decision was taken in the hopes of increasing a sense of patriotism among hospital staff.
Minister of Health Hala Zayed made this decision on Tuesday. It entails that the national anthem as well as the physician’s oath be broadcasted on the internal radio system in hospitals. The justification for the new practice was that it would help “promote the values of belonging and love for the homeland.”
Indeed this is not the only practice that will be introduced in the coming months regarding physicians’ work environment, as the decision was said to be just one of policy decisions that will be aimed at “remembering our country…and [our] responsibility toward citizens,” in an effort the improve the work environment of physicians.
In order to address criticisms of the decision on social media, as many said that the Ministry was disregarding the dwindling conditions in national hospital in favor of aesthetic policy decisions such as this one, the spokesman said that “We are not disregarding the major aspects of our work; developing hospitals, providing equipment and allocating human resources and medical supplies, but moving merely to the national anthem and the physician’s oath.”
Although it’s unclear how exactly this policy decision will improve the work conditions of physicians, the spokesman seemed adamant that this is “only one of the decisions the ministry has taken in favour of Egyptian physicians.”
The country’s administration has made healthcare a priority recently, with a new health insurance bill recently introduced. The administration’s efforts regarding Hepatitis C have been praised for their efficacy, and they are currently working in tandem with the World Bank, who have invested upwards of $530 million into health care in Egypt. What other upcoming changes in Egypt’s health care policies remain to be seen.