CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood MPs are accusing Minister of Health Hatem El-Gabaly of sentencing thousands of Egyptians to death under new laws which they claim hinder the process of granting citizens free medical care.
In an unprecedented stance, independent and ruling party MPs demanded a vote of no-confidence against El-Gabaly during the People’s Assembly’s (PA) health committee meeting Sunday.
National Democratic Party MP Ahmed Abou Heggy slammed El-Gabaly as "incompetent" while Mohamed Amer accused him of "depriving low-income citizens of medical care," according to independent daily Al-Shorouk.
The meeting was scheduled to discuss shortcomings of the new law and claims of budgetary violations on the ministry’s part.
El-Gabaly’s absence from the meeting added fuel to the fire, prompting ruling party MP Gamal El-Zeiny’s suggestion to postpone it until El-Gabaly attends.
However, the suggestion was dismissed by head of the committee Hamdy El-Sayed, forcing El-Zeiny to leave the meeting room.
MPs are holding El-Gabaly accountable for the scores of Egyptians who die because of their inability to have access to medical care on time.
According to local news, independent MP Mostafa Bakry criticized the government for "punishing the patients instead of punishing those who are corrupt."
To that end, El-Sayed joined forces with the anti-El-Gabaly block, criticizing claims by the minister in which he stated that the ministry provided LE 1 billion of the national budget to offer medical care at the expense of the government.
During the meeting, Abou Heggy said: "If there was justice in our country cabinet would resign over its negligence of citizens’ health. The Egyptian government is made up of a group of businessmen that are controlling its affairs, and God will not have mercy on them."
Al-Shorouk reported that sentiments in the health committee meeting were reiterated in the PA’s general session Monday, quoting Amer accusing El-Gabaly of breaching the constitution and his oath.
Several MPs called on parliament speaker Ahmed Fathy Sorour to summon El-Gabaly for another meeting to find a solution to the problem.