Egyptian doctors under threat as government says they lack discipline
Egyptian doctors are reporting that they are being threatened for speaking and posting publicly about working conditions as they struggle in a medical system overwhelmed by the coronavirus. At least seven members of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, a quasi-governmental body that represents health care workers, are being detained for discussing COVID-19 on social media, which the government characterised as spreading false news; syndicate board member was arrested after criticising prime minister Mostafa Madbouly for blaming the rise in cases on the doctors’ “lack of discipline”. Numerous other doctors have been arrested for infractions such as demanding a coronavirus test for a symptomatic colleague or missing shifts; one doctor deleted all her colleagues from her lists after the staff at her hospital were told their social media would be monitored. Amnesty International has documented the detention of at least six doctors and two pharmacists by Egypt’s National Security Agency, including a pregnant doctor who was reported after she called a government hotline to register a coronavirus case.
Writer: Ruth Michaelson