The Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament, Ali Abdel Aal, has summoned MP Elhamy Agina to appear before the parliament’s bureau, consisting of the speaker of the council and the two deputies, to hear his statements about a controversial incident that took place at Sherbin Hospital in Dakahlia Governorate, according to a brief statement issued by the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening.

Elhamy Agina caused controversy when he visited Sherbin General Hospital in Dakahlia Governorate, and published a video on his Facebook page from inside the hospital. In that video Agina severely attacked doctors, accusing them of negligence and fleeing from the hospital and the nurses lack of interest in the patients.

That incident sparked widespread anger among doctors, and the Dakahlia Doctors Syndicate submitted a memo to the House of Representatives demanding to refer the incident to the Trustee Committee for investigation. The memo said that Agina infringed the doctors’ and patients’ rights in the hospital. In the memorandum, the Doctors Syndicate used the term “mob’s authority” to describe what Agina did.

Observers considered that this included sharp criticism of the parliament and politicians say that the mob’s authority appears when there is a power vacuum and that this is almost what is happening in Egypt. Opponents say that the Egyptian parliament does not implement its supervisory tools in holding the Egyptian government accountable, nor does it play its real role in representing the Egyptian people, and its power and his real role has vanished. Because of the lack of a real role (power vacuum), Agina resorted to the mob’s authority, in an attempt to gain false popularity before the upcoming parliamentary elections. Agina appeared throughout the video speaking out loud, and trying to persuade viewers that he has real power and that he defends the rights of people to treatment.

The Medical Syndicate’s statement hinted at the real reason for Agina’s actions, as it described him as “a parliamentarian who came out of oblivion in search of fame and propaganda for himself before the elections at the expense of those who give their lives in exchange for their patients,” and he committed “a crime against everyone.”

The parliamentarian wrote a comment on the video on his Facebook page, “Agina strikes with an iron hand, and exercises his supervisory role to discover the negligence of employees of the Sherbin General Hospital in Dakahlia Governorate, and requests the hospital director to submit his resignation.”

A young Egyptian doctor told Egypt Watch that doctors in Egypt do not have the necessary preventative means to protect themselves, and hospitals are not equipped for patients. He added that the parliamentarians know this well, and they do not hold the government or the minister accountable. They dare not do that, but they prefer to win false popularity by loudly attacking the doctors.

The doctor referred to what the late Egyptian doctor Mohamed el-Shahat wrote on Facebook when he said that “the funniest thing about the topic of coronavirus is that doctors as long as the day and night remain advising people and educating them to wash their hands for 20 seconds, to reduce the spread of the virus, and we work in a hospital which [does not have water for] four days.” He added that “the doctors are afraid to eat dinner so that they do not need to enter the bathroom and wash their hands, and that they remained until the time of dawn to enter the mosque bath.” A month later the Egyptian doctor, Mohamed el-Shahat, announced that he was infected with coronavirus, and weeks later it was announced that he had died from the virus.

The young doctor told Egypt Watch that none of the members of the House of Representatives asked the government about this, and none of them recorded a video of himself screaming in the face of the minister just as Agina shouted at the doctors in the hospital. The doctor adds that if the doctors decided to stop work and refused to stay in hospitals due to poor conditions, the deputy himself would appear accusing them of being traitors for abandoning the people in these difficult circumstances.

Opponents point out that what Agina did is a well-known method followed by members of parliament before any elections in Egypt, where they resort to false media appearances to give people the feeling that they defend the interests of the people. But the problem is that Agina did this at the wrong time, when people are focused on the importance of doctors in light of the crisis of the spread of coronavirus.

Observers say that the Egyptian regime does not want to provoke doctors at present, as it realises that they are working to treat patients or protect themselves, which has caused many of them to be infected with coronavirus, in addition to that they are receiving very small salaries compared to what doctors around the world receive.