Health minister favors private hospitals, claim MPs

Independent and opposition MPs on Sunday submitted interpellations to Parliamentary Speaker Fathi Sorour in which they accused Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly of favoring private hospitals–especially Dar el-Fouad Hospital, of which he is a partial owner–over public ones.

The MPs declared that such favoritism represents a “provocation” to poorer segments of society, who depend largely on public hospitals for medical treatment.

“Ministers get medical treatment at government expense while the poor cannot afford it,” said Muslim Brotherhood MP Farid Ismail. He pointed to the fact that the government had paid millions of pounds for Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali to receive medical treatment abroad, despite the latter’s being “a multi-millionaire.”

Sorour threatened to adjourn the parliamentary meeting if the deputies remained “out of line.”

El-Gabaly, for his part, said his ministry’s policy was to provide equal medical service to all citizens. “Anyone who says otherwise is making unsubstantiated claims,” he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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