CAIRO – 28 July 2020: Egyptians are mourning the death of Dr. Mohammed Mashaly, who was known as the doctor of the poor, as he used to help needy people.
For 50 years, Dr. Mashaly ran his small clinic in Tanta city, northern Egypt, and refused several offers to move to bigger clinics in upscale districts to fulfill a promise he made to his father before he died.
Mashaly’s father told him to give his life to the poor and not to charge them in return for treatment.
Although his clinic was small, it was always full of patients who trusted Dr. Mashaly; he fixed his fees at L.E. 5 (US $0.31) until he had to recently raise the fees to L.E. 10 (US $0.62).
In the early hours of Tuesday, Dr. Mashaly, 76 years, was announced dead due to a sudden circulatory failure. He was buried in his home town in Beheira governorate.
Dr. Mashaly’s heroic stance in treating the poor made headlines in local and regional newspapers over the past years, and after his death, many Egyptian and Arab social media users mourned him on twitter. The hashtag “the doctor of the poor” #طبيب الغلابة is trending in Egypt, and attracted thousands of tweets.
Egyptians, Arabs and foreign officials mourning Dr. Mashaly
Sheikh of Al-Azhar Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb offered his condolences saying that Dr. Mashaly “set an example for humanity…he preferred to support the poor, the needy and the sick, even in the last days of his life.”
President of Cairo University Mohamed Othman el-Khosht also mourned Dr. Mashaly, announcing he will be honored in the upcoming Day of Science.
On his official twitter account, his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum mourned Dr. Mashaly saying that he "made hope of unique kind."
الدكتور محمد المشالي.. من جمهورية مصر الحبيبة .. صانع أمل من نوع مختلف .. 50 عاماً من حياته لأجل علاج الفقراء. نموذج للأطباء .. وقدوة للعظماء.. رحمه الله .. وأسكنه الفردوس الأعلى من جنته في مقعد صدق عند مليك مقتدر .. pic.twitter.com/8IIehydFfR— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 28, 2020
Spokesperson for UK government for MENA region Rosie Dyas wrote on her official Twitter account in Arabic mourning Dr. Mashaly saying: "I am very saddened by the news of the death of Dr. Mashaly. My condolences to the family of the deceased and to the whole world, and especially to the people of Egypt.”
فقد العالم اليوم إنسان عظيم كرّس حياته لمساعدة الفقراء وعلاجهم بمقابل رمزي وبدون مقابل.— Rosie Dyasروزي دياز في البيت 🇬🇧 (@RosieDyasUK) July 28, 2020
أحزنني كثيراً خبر وفاة الدكتور #محمد_مشالي المعروف بـ #طبيب_الغلابة 💔 تعازيّ لعائلة الفقيد وللعالم أجمع ولاسيما شعب #مصر pic.twitter.com/4UzmYBKv3f
One of the users said: “The appointment [with Dr. Mashaly] was for L.E. 10, which included other medical, such as urine and stool tests, without charging [patients] more. He also used to give kids candies…May Allah rest his soul in heaven.”
Another user said, “This doctor is unique… We are never going to see someone like him again. Today, you visit a clinic…and the doctor asks you to undergo scans and medical tests, although you might not need to.”
زي هذا الطبيب عمله نادره.واعتقد ماعاد فيه موجود مثله. الان تروح لعياده خاصه. وانته ماتحتاج. اشعه او تحليل يخليك تعمل علشان تدفع زياده.زي هذا الطبيب ماعتقد موجود في الزمن هذا الان زمن الماده.الان الواحد اذا توفي في الثلاجه وهو في مستشفي خاص. والله مايخرجونه اللين تدفع الفاتوره— ابو فهد (@khalidfahad700) July 28, 2020
Twitter user Mohamed Samman wrote, “Egypt, the humanity, and the whole world lost the greatest doctor on earth.”
Celebrities also took to social media to mourn the doctor of the poor.
A kid changed his life
In several interviews, Dr. Mashaly talked about an incident that deeply affected him and made him take the decision to dedicate his life to the poor.
A young diabetic boy set himself on fire to lift the burden off his mother who could not buy him an insulin shot to feed him and his brothers. Dr. Mashaly was the last one to hold the boy after putting off the fire with a blanket.
“This incident destroyed me and since then, I decided to dedicate my whole life to the poor,” he said.
Dr. Mashaly used to receive between 30 to 50 patients every day, working for 12 hours per day despite his old age.
He was specialized in endemic diseases, fever, schistosomiasis and worms, mostly diseases that affect the poor class of people whose low-income status hinder them from obtaining expensive treatment.
Patients who used to visit Dr. Mashaly at his clinic talked to the media about his decency and humbleness, where they could have access to him whenever they needed, compared to other doctors in his specialization.
Dr. Mashaly previously said that he feels sufficient with little food and does not care about beautiful clothes.
He was born in 1967 in Beheira govenorate, Lower Egypt. He assumed position of director of the Endemic Diseases Hospital then position of head of a medical center until he attained the retirement age in 2004.