Mona Mina speaks to Al-Asema channel on medical supplies shortage (Courtesy of Doctors' Syndicate website)
CAIRO, Nov 17 (Aswat Masriya) – Doctors' Syndicate deputy head Mona Mina clarified that her statements on reusing syringes were exaggerated and taken out of context by the media, in a statement on the syndicate's website.
Mina had earlier made statements in a phone in on Al-Asema channel saying that she received a plea from a doctor who said that the hospital he works for gave them verbal instructions to cut their use of medical supplies by half, and use some of the supplies more than once.
“This includes syringes and IV drips for example,” Mina said, “if a patient needs two IV drips a day, [they’re told] to use only one, if a patient needs two syringes, they are to cover one and use it again.”
She explained that the phone in was about 15 minutes long and was centered on the shortage of medical supplies as well as medication in hospitals.
“There are several alarming facts I mentioned in the phone in but unfortunately there seems to be an attempt to misrepresent the statements and divert the focus to distract from the important problems that need solutions,” Mina said in the statement.
Mina further explained that she was not generalizing and was talking about this specific case in Assiut hospital.
She also clarified that she meant that the syringe could be used on the same patient more than once, not on different patients.
“I am responsible for every word I said on the show,” Mina said, “but I am not responsible for the exaggeration and misquotation that was reported, and I believe that they are aimed to distract from the original topic.”
During the interview on Al-Asema channel, Mina had highlighted existing shortages of medicine.
“Although my statements were misrepresented but that does not change the fact that there is a huge shortage in medical supplies,” she said in another phone in Wednesday night on Sada al-Balad channel.
Mina’s earlier statements sparked widespread controversy, prompting the health ministry to announce taking legal action against her for spreading false information.
“Those statements are irresponsible and aim at stirring panic among patients,” the ministry said in a statement.
Lawyer Tarek Mahmoud has also filed a complaint to the Alexandria prosecution against Mina, calling for her arrest, on charges of spreading false news, state run Al-Akhbar newspaper said.
This is not the first standoff between the syndicate and the health ministry. Over the course of this year, both parties have exchanged accusations over many issues related to the healthcare sector.
Following an assault on two doctors in Al-Matariya hospital in February, the syndicate agreed in a general assembly to refer the health minister, in his capacity as a syndicate member, to a disciplinary committee.
The syndicate filed another lawsuit against the health minister, and the cabinet urging them to apply the increase the compensation for infectious diseases and contagious health hazards from EGP 19 to EGP 1,000 following state council administrative court verdict in June.