A Facebook page entitled عشان لو جه ما يتفاجئش (So That He Won’t Be Surprised If He Visits) has been created on Sunday following Egyptian Prime Minsiter Ibrahim Mehleb’s alleged surprise visits to healthcare facilities in Giza on Saturday.
Within only four days, that page has attracted an astounding community of 246 thousand, with a general call for all the doctors and hospitals’ staff members across Egypt to share pictures showing the conditions of the hospitals where they work.
The pictures which were sent in from across Egypt throughout the four days show the extremely unsanitary condition of the hospitals from worn out beds, cracked walls and ceilings, filthy toilets, in addition to a variety of creatures which seem to coexist with the patients, such as cats, dogs, goats and even snakes.
The media coverage of Mehleb’s visit showed him in what seems to be a state of distress due to witnessing the poor statuses of the National Heart Institute and the Theodor Bilharz Research Institute.
In his meeting with the Minister of Health Adly Adawy, the director of the National Heart Institute and department heads, Mehleb commented on the troubling state of sanitation and healthcare service that he encountered during his visit, adding: “I am the servant of the needy.”
Meanwhile, the Doctor’s Syndicate spokesman Hossam Kamal commented that the visit which is claimed to be a surprise visit is to put on a media show for the poor and needy. Kamal added that the Prime Minister’s astonishment at the healthcare status in Egypt is in itself a surprise given that Mehleb has been carrying out his duties as a Prime Minister for two years, and that the grave concerns of the health sector in Egypt has been openly discussed for years.
A statement by the Doctors’ Syndicate shared further concerns about Mehleb’s approach for taking action which involved dismissing the head of the National Heart Institute from his position, stating that the problem does not reside in particular people but rather the entire system.
In the past few years, several nation-wide strikes were led by the Doctors’ Syndicate calling for a budget reallocation, raising the healthcare budget from 3.5% to 15%. Despite the relentlessly repetitive strikes and outcries to the various governments, the pleas have not been answered.