Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed is facing a wave of anger from thousands of pharmacists and nurses after the minister criticised recently their appearances.
Pharmacists used #dismiss_minister_of_health hashtag to express their anger on social media, demanding the minister to be dismissed.
During her late follow-up visit of the new comprehensive health insurance system in Port Said, Zayed criticised the overweight of nurses, saying the majority of them suffer from obesity. She said those wishing to work in the nursing sector have three months to lose weight.
“The absence of a nurse is effective, but the absence of 100 pharmacists cannot be noticed,” Zayed said.
The minister’s remarks also included comments on the outfits of the nursing team, as she criticised the hijab (head veil) of nurses, saying that their hijab is long and should be shorter. She demanded nurses not to wear niqab.
The Syndicate of Pharmacists in Port Said expressed deep resentment of the Zayed’s statements. The syndicate said, “repeated unfavourable comments by the minister on pharmacists prove to be far from modern management methods.”
The syndicate also called for an urgent meeting of pharmacists to discuss a collective stance against the minister.
Moreover, the Arab Pharmacists Union denounced Zayed’s statements calling upon the Egyptian government to “handle” the minister of health, so that the massive health projects in Egypt can be accomplished.
The ministry of health spokesperson Khaled Mogahed said Zayed did not diminish the importance of pharmacists.
In a media statement on Sunday night, Mogahed added that the minister respects and appreciates the roles of all medical personnel. He noted that there are presidential directives to combat obesity, stressing that fitness is important for medical personnel to fulfil their mission.
Regarding the minister’s comment on the hijab, Mogahed justified her statements saying that the long hijab may be contaminated during nursing patients.