Egypt Watch

An Egyptian parliamentarian calls for transparency over corruption cases in the Ministry of Health

A member of the Egyptian House of Representatives from the Social Democratic Party, Freddy El-Bayadi, asked the Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, about the continued absence of Minister of Health Hala Zayed from the scene, and the vacancy of her important position, and what is the specific period of her absence. El-Bayadi also asked about the investigations of the Public Prosecution in several corruption cases within the Ministry of Health, and the date of the completion of these investigations.

On October 28, the Prime Minister decided to assign the Minister of Higher Education, Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, to carry out the duties of the Minister of Health, after Zayed’s submission of a request for sick leave, according to what was stated in the decision. El-Bayadi issued a press statement in which he stated that despite the passage of nearly two months since the decision to temporarily assign Abdel-Ghaffar, and the statement of the Public Prosecution in which it announced the opening of an investigation into corruption cases involving some leaders of the Ministry of Health, the state has made no decisions about removing Zayed from her position, returning her to it, or allowing her to quit.

The parliamentarian’s statement stated that the decision to exempt ministers or delegate an alternative to them should be for a specific period, in accordance with the articles of the constitution. It also stated that the health situation leads us to question the continued absence of a permanent Minister of Health, in light of a global crisis represented by a new variant of concern, Omicron.

On October 27, the Public Prosecution announced that it would reveal the available data and information as it deems appropriate for the proper conduct of investigations with some officials in the Ministry of Health, in light of what the regulatory bodies revealed about the existence of a major financial corruption case involving prominent posts in the ministry, including the director of the Minister’s Office, Ahmed Salama. One of the corruption cases also involves the director of the Ministry’s Free Treatment Department and four of his assistants.

Until the Public Prosecution’s investigations are concluded, the files normally maintained by the Minister of Health, including the file to follow up on the pandemic situation in Egypt, have been assigned to some of her assistants and regulatory agencies.