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Playing national anthem in hospitals is not obligatory: Min. of health

Mon, Jul. 16, 2018
CAIRO – 16 July 2018: “Playing the national anthem in hospitals’ intercoms is not obligatory. I said that it is a positive behavior, but I have not issued a ministerial decree for it,” said Minister of Health Hala Zayed on Sunday.

This was during her first meeting with the Parliament’s Health Committee, during which she declared the ministry’s policy to be followed in the upcoming period.

Some members of the Parliament asked Zayed to reconsider the decision, referring they had expected that her first decision would focus on improving the deteriorating health conditions in public hospitals.

This came after the decision has set off a storm of criticism on social media after Zayed referred it will help in promoting "patriotism and loyalty" of all hospital staff members and patients.

Hence, Zayed pointed out that the decision is not compulsory and any hospital has the choice to abide by it or not, particularly that a ministerial decree has not been issued in this regard, stressing that the crowd would only listen to the national anthem in the broadcast without standing or singing.

On the other hand, she assured during the meeting that the nursing schools in Egypt will be increased from 370 to 500 schools by 2019, and that the requirements for nursing schools’ enrolment will be simplified to solve the nursing staff shortage crisis.

In this regard, she further explained that nurses’ salaries in Egypt will increase, and modern technologies will be available to help them do their job.

As for Egypt’s health system, Zayed said that a comprehensive plan will be set to develop the system, and manufacturing drugs will be among the plan's top priorities; an independent body to focus only on the drugs file should be established.

She also remarked that strict instructions have been issued to many hospitals and medical institutions to finish their waiting list.

In this regard, she revealed that the government would prepare a website to register requests for operations in the state-owned hospitals to set a mechanism to carry them out as soon as possible based on the available opportunities.

“There will be cooperation with the Armed Forces’ hospitals and some private hospitals to finish the waiting list for the same prices offered by the Ministry of Health."

In the same context, upon instructions of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to implement the first phase of the new Health Insurance Law, the Ministry of Health declared its plan before the Parliament to put it into effect.

The Health Committee carefully follows up the mechanisms set by the Ministry of Health to apply the comprehensive Health Insurance Law, and it will hold a meeting with Minister of Health Hala Zayed to look into the details of the plan after the Parliament officially grants confidence to the government, according to Ayman Abul-Ela, deputy of the Health Committee in the House of Representatives.

In this regard, the Health Committee stressed that the new law will achieve great progress in health services provided to Egyptians; hence, the committee will head in the upcoming period to Port Said, the first governorate where the plan will be implemented, to inspect the infrastructure of hospitals and health units.

Abul-Ela added that LE 1.8 billion from the public budget were allocated to put the plan into effect in Port Said by the end of the current year.

He further remarked that implementing the plan requires developing the first aid, focusing on maternity and childhood services, establishing the three bodies mentioned in the new law to manage the health system, including the General Authority for Health Insurance, which will finance the system, General Authority for Healthcare, and the General Authority for Accreditation and Supervision, which will determine hospitals and medical units eligible to join the system, in addition to activating the system to electronically provide all the services of the health insurance system.
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