As the Egyptian economy continues its slow collapse, Egypt has seen shortages of sugar, food, and other necessary commodities. But now, it looks like Egypt’s healthcare system is also being hit by shortages.
The news was broken by a doctor’s union leader, Mona Mina, who called into a talk show to talk about the shortages. She called on the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to resolve the crisis, and explained that a medical staff at a government hospital had been ordered to use half the amount of medical supplies they normally do.
According the CDC, healthcare providers should never use syringes on more than one patient, because of the risk of transmitting a disease. It is standard medical practice in most countries around the world to immediately dispose of syringes after they are used because of this risk. Using a syringe on multiple different people puts patients in danger of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases like Hepatitis and HIV.
After the show aired on television, the Egyptian Ministry of Health announced that they were going to sue Mina for her statements, and Assistant Health Minister Ahmed Mohie al-Qased asserted she was telling “lies”. He also claimed that the government had a stockpile of medical supplies that would last for at least two years.
So is Mina telling the truth? Probably. Egypt’s economic crisis may have left Egyptian officials worrying about the availability of supplies, leading lower-ranked officials to tell hospitals to make do with less supplies. But with strongman President al-Sisi in charge of Egypt, if he wants her in prison, she will be.