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Corruption accusations at Al-Qasr Al-Eini

Patients sceptical of report accusing Heba El-Swedy and others of profiteering

The report accuses public figures of confiscating public money intended to provide medical care to those wounded during the 2011 revolution. (PHOTO BY MOHAMED OMAR)
The report accuses public figures of confiscating public money intended to provide medical care to those wounded during the 2011 revolution. (PHOTO BY MOHAMED OMAR)

Lawyer Mustafa Sha’ban has filed a report to the prosecutor general accusing a number of public figures of corruption charges, concerning the treatment of patients injured during the revolution.

Sha’ban accused the manager of New Al-Qasr Al-Eini Teaching Hospital Amr Gad, ex-head of the revolutionary patients’ fund Hosny Saber and society figure Heba Al-Swedy of confiscating public money. Al-Swedy has been handling the expenses of treating patients who were wounded during the January 2011 revolution.

Sha’ban allegedly attached with Monday’s report a letter from Gad to the revolutionary patients’ fund demanding all the money that the hospital and Heba Al-Swedy had paid in treating the patients; a sum of almost EGP 3 million. A copy of Gad’s letter was posted by Sha’ban on Facebook; the letter details all the expenses made on behalf of the hospital and the civil society. The paychecks in question and a list of all those treated at the expense of the hospital and the civil society (mainly Heba Al-Swedy) were also attached.

“The EGP 3 million was returned to hospital and Al-Swedy through two installments,” Sha’ban said, “the first installment has already been paid, while the second was due to be paid on Tuesday; it was stalled after my report was filed.”

Accordingly, Sha’ban accuses Gad and Al-Swedy of taking back all the money they had paid for treating the patients.

“One of two things happened, Gad did deliver Al-Swedy’s share of the money back to her and she is only claiming having treated the patients on her own expense, or Gad took Al-Swedy’s share without delivering it to Al-Swedy. If the latter is the case, then Al-Swedy should accuse Gad of the charges she’s currently facing.”

Ayman Abdel Meguid, a member of the revolutionary patients’ fund, denied that Al-Swedy collected any money from the fund.

“Al-Swedy did not retrieve any of the money she had paid in treating the patients,” said Rabie’ Abdel Ra’ouf, a revolutionary patient who has been undergoing treatment since February 2011 at the expense of Al-Swedy in the hospital, adding that Al-Swedy only deals with hospital management and never with the fund.

“Not a single cheque was released by the fund for Al-Swedy,” Abdel Ra’ouf said, “and even if she did take all the money she’s paid in our treatment back, where’s the crime in that?”

Al-Swedy tweeted that the lists of patients attached with the report include people who are not revolutionary patients.

“The funny thing is that the lists include my driver, for whom I had covered hospital expenses, as one of the revolutionary victims,” Al-Swedy said in personal tweet, implying that the lists are falsified.

“All those accusations are there to stop Al-Swedy, who acts as a barrier for anybody who tries to exploit the patients,” Abdel Ra’ouf said. “And I want to ask Sha’ban; whoever authorised you to file reports on behalf of the revolutionary patients?”

In the report, Sha’ban also accuses former Prime Minister Kamal Al-Ganzoury of facilitating Saber’s confiscation of public money through giving away the Sports Hospital, a property of the Ministry of National Council for Sports and thus state property, to Saber’s charity organisation Amar Ya Masr following a request from Saber.

“Saber requested the hospital amid claims that he could raise funds worth of $1 billion for treating the revolutionary patients; nobody has been treated in this hospital though,” Sha’ban said.

The case of those injured during the revolution ignited two weeks ago following clashes which erupted between the patients and the hospital staff. Activist Asmaa Al-Gredley, who was present during the clashes, stated that President Mohamed Morsy’s legal advisor, Mohamed Gad Allah, and the new head of the revolutionary victims’ fund, Khaled Badawy, both assured the victims that they would be treated at the expense of the state.

Patients injured during the revolution have been facing difficulties in their treatment process since the revolution. Most of them cannot afford treatment.

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