Sohag governor Ayman Abdel Moneim, along with the city’s security director, visited Sohag public hospital on Tuesday, following an assault on two of its doctors, the Doctors Syndicate said in an official statement.
Both officials apologised to the doctors and said security measures to protect public hospitals will increase.
This is the second assault against doctors in Sohag in less than a week. A family member of a patient assaulted two doctors on Monday, leading to injuries. The doctors had failed to rescue the patient who had arrived at the hospital in a critical condition.
Assaults on doctors by family members of patients have been increasing in public hospitals across different cities, as there is often little or no accountability on the assaulters.
Ihab Al-Taher, board member at the Doctors Syndicate, told Daily News Egypt that this was not merely a security issue. “All state authorities are involved in the prevalence of such assaults,” he stated.
Most of those assaults occur due to the lack of medical equipment or shortage of beds in public hospitals, which leads to the patients’ families assaulting doctors, according to Al-Taher. However, the government is responsible for increasing the state budget allocation for the health sector, he said.
Following the infamous attack against two doctors at Al-Matariya hospital by two low-ranking policemen in February, the Doctors Syndicate sent a bill to the parliament’s Health Committee, calling for the strengthening of the penalty against assaults on doctors in April.
“So far, the parliament did not respond and no progress has been made in reviewing the bill,” Al-Taher said.
He further noted that the frequency of those assaults has a direct negative impact on providing healthcare, and warned that it might lead to more hospitals shutting down.
Last Tuesday, another family assaulted a doctor due to the unavailability of beds in the intensive care unit at Sohag hospital. The doctor sustained multiple injuries, including brain shudder and loss of eyesight.
Earlier in August, a misdemeanour court in Baheira sentenced a citizen who assaulted a doctor last December to six months in prison—the first verdict of its kind—and a fine of EGP 500, with a bail of EGP 200.