The Egyptian Medical Syndicate has published an official statement confirming its categorical rejection of a proposal by Major General Doctor Ahmed al-Tawudi, head of the Military Medical Academy, to convert pharmacists into doctors. The syndicate said that the proposal, which was ordered by President al-Sisi to curb the coronavirus, would harm Egyptians’ health and affect Egypt’s medical reputation internationally, especially since this is unprecedented in the history of the modern medical profession.

Social media users ridiculed the proposal and described it as a scientific and medical farce, and a continuation of military intervention into fields outside their own expertise.

Egypt faces a severe shortage in the number of doctors working in government hospitals, where only 47,000 doctors out of 250,000 are registered in the union’s records. Doctors’ resignations have increased dramatically in recent years due to low salaries, increased cases of administrative abuse by Health Ministry officials, and the absence of a safe environment at work.