Thank you doctors of Egypt… You are in our hearts

This title has been published thousands of times on social media, as an expression of gratitude towards the efforts of doctors during the coronavirus pandemic, and in protest of a statement made by the Prime Minister that has angered Egyptians everywhere.

The medical profession is one of the oldest professions in our dear country, with its history beginning with the ancient Egyptians and onward to the Alexandria school, where ancient Egyptian and Greek medicine mixed.

In the modern era, Mohamed Ali asked Clot Bey to establish a medical school which moved from Abu Zaabal to Qasr al-Aini on the Nile bank.

The first mission dispatched to study medicine to France after graduation, after which they came back to teach in the medical school, thus making Egypt the first country in the region to practice modern medicine through diagnosis and treatment of all kinds.

When modern devices, microscopic surgeries and sophisticated drugs entered the world of modern medicine, Egypt’s doctors were at the forefront of the world in receiving these tools and training with them.

Because of the difficult economic conditions Egypt has faced following a critical period in its history, no modern hospitals had been built to keep up with the times, though the government and the private sector have remedied the matter and built modern teaching and private hospitals on international standards.

Egyptian doctors have spread across the world, achieving great success in Europe and America, and for many years they have efficiently led the health system in Arab countries, particularly in the Gulf region.

Some people may think that these doctors are all very wealthy, but this is not true, because the vast majority of doctors and all young doctors suffer greatly in life due to poor salaries and incentives, so most of them try to travel abroad, which has already happened, and is why half of Egypt’s doctors now work outside.

As we all know, studying medicine in addition to the residency period lasts seven years, followed by three to seven years of training to start practicing the profession, and if a doctor wishes to train and obtain a certificate in a specific field then they’ll need to study for another five years.

Doctors all over the world receive distinguished treatment and get paid well.

The Medical Syndicate is a long-established and distinguished union that provides distinguished union services for its members. This was the first union in Egypt that rose up at the beginning of the Muslim Brotherhood era and brought them down from its council.

I recount here the great day when the voting queue in the committee for over 60-year-olds during the union’s elections reached nearly one a kilometer, even when it was a rainy day.

Before 1952, doctors participated in the 1946 uprising against the dictatorship, and against the British occupation, and participated with the guerrillas in the Canal Zone against the British aggression.

Many of them died during the October war.

And this year, doctors performed admirably when the world was invaded by the coronavirus pandemic, which so far has killed nearly half a million people.

In third world countries, including Egypt, it is difficult to know the numbers of those killed by the virus, because an unknown amount died in their homes, villages and hospitals without undertaking an analysis.

We also have, as is well known, a very weak health budget and the efficiency of the Ministry of Health is limited.

Doctors, nursing stuff and medical workers struggled under difficult conditions, as their protective equipment was insufficient, and therefore the death rate among physicians was very high.

Around 100 doctors died, and more than 2,000 were infected with the coronavirus, and many of the ones who died were young doctors from difficult financial conditions.

In light of the coronavirus and the possibility of its continuation or the emergence of a second wave globally, which is expected until a vaccine is prepared, we need everyone in the medical staff, and we should encourage them, raise their spirits and compensate the families of those who fell to the virus.

On the ground, it has become natural for the families of patients to attack doctors, break hospital equipment, and the government does nothing to defend them.

There is no law issued or firm stance to stop this chaos, which has become a routine thing happening every day.

The relationship between the Health Ministry and the Medical Syndicate must be one of of cooperation and understanding, and relations between the minister and doctors should be good, with the minister making the utmost effort to cooperate and make decisions after consulting with doctors and the medical syndicate in the interest of patients, the profession and the ministry as well.

In a major crisis such as the coronavirus, we must all stand together to fight the pandemic.

A while ago, the Prime Minister attempted to defuse the crisis.

He received the head of the Medical Syndicate and issued reassuring statements.

However everyone was shocked when the Prime Minister issued a controversial statement, angering physicians and citizens alike, when he announced that the Health Minister had said that the cause of the coronavirus pandemic was a lack of commitment by some doctors to their duty.

The Prime Minister has forgotten the martyred doctors and the thousands of medical workers keeping watch every night on the sick across all of Egypt, and he knows very well how weak the health system is and how weak the Health Ministry’s plan is in confronting this disease.

The minister should avoid upsetting doctors, instead encouraging their work and cooperating with them, because relations between the ministry and the people during a pandemic must be good.

I think that this statement has severely shaken public opinion of the Prime Minister throughout social media, which is used by about 50 million citizens.

I was waiting for an apology from him to resolve this issue, as this is a normal practice in first world countries, but in the third world things are different. The government is always right and the people are wrong.

Rise, Egyptians! Egypt is always calling you.

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