Out of MEO dedication to continue its investigations and reveals significant facts related to the medical sector in Egypt, we are delighted to present to our readers this informative piece, upon interviewing three Egyptian doctors working in the medical sector in Egypt; Dr. Karim Mahdy, MSC of fixed and removable prosthodontics university of Manchester and assistant lecturer of fixed prosthodontics, New Giza University, Dr. Ismail Rady, Professor of Urology Cairo University, and Dr. Radwa Abdelhady, Cardiologist. Discussing nursing, patient’s rights and the utilization of the knowledge bank as a source of information for professionals in the field.
Nursing in Egypt:
There is no doubt that nursing is one of the significant pillars of the medical sector; yet it might be facing various challenges in Egypt. Related to this point Dr. karim Mahdy explains that the lack of supervision is one of the main challenges facing delivering the best nursing service in Egypt. Supervision is the key to delivering quality service within the medical field.
The nursing institute in Cairo does give the needed education related to nursing, and in fact the experienced qualified nurse, in Egypt, do excel at her work; experience is the key within the nursing sector. On the other hand, “Consistency is another important element; when the nurse receives the adequate education, along with the needed training, and she consistently practices her job, we develop good calibers within the nursing filed,” says dr mahdy.
A very critical challenge that is present within the nursing filed is how the nursing job is looked upon within our culture, for some reason the nursing position is regarded as a demining position here in Egypt; furthermore, nurses are not really well paid.
Nursing is a very important job and her role, in my opinion is not less than the doctor himself. In England for instance, the role of the dental nurse is not less than the role of the doctor; she receives excellent education, she gets well paid, and her role is regarded as a critical role. She is qualified to do the post operative care for the patients solely without the supervision of the doctor; she is a qualified medical professional, and this we do lack in Egypt, explains mahdy.
Furthermore, in Egypt, there must be a calculated quota for the nursing institution based upon the needs of the market. There must be as well an applied set of criteria for accepting students to study nursing. They need to undertake certain evaluative procedures before being accepted to study at the nursing institute. The curriculum as well must include advanced level of English language; the nurse must understand the basics of the English language.
Within the private sector the performance of the nurse is based upon her capabilities for learning, if she is ready to learn and she gets the adequate direct supervision from the doctor, she actually excels at her work. As for the public sector, I believe it does lack supervision, and I do not see any problem, whether the private or the public medical sector can hire head nurses from Europe to give the needed training and supervision to Egyptian nurses; in fact, there was a big hospital in Egypt, who took this initiative years ago; they hired head nurses from England and Asian countries to work at the hospital, and this experience actually proved to be a successful one.
Direct strict supervision must be applied within the public hospitals; one of the most common fatal malpractice done by nurses in public hospitals is not using some medical tools they were assigned to take care of as a trusteeship, in order to avoid making an inventory at the end of each month, explains Dr. Karim mahdy.
Dr, Ismail Rady, Professor of Urology, Cairo University, says that the nursing sector in Egypt is facing many complicated challenges.
“We have in Egypt, the nursing school in Egypt, the nursing institute, and the faculty of nursing; students join the nursing institute after high school; as for the faculty of nursing, they study nursing for four years. I would say that the main challenge facing this sector is the lack of training and the number of nurses within the nursing sector. Some hospitals hire nurses who are senior students at the faculty of nursing which indicates that the number of nurses is insufficient comparing to the needs of the market; I would say that this is the main challenge, another factor is the poor language skills that hinders their development once they start practicing and regrettably, the demining image that the nurse gets from the society; compared to the US, for instance, a registered nurse is a highly qualified medial professional, says Dr. Rady.
The nursing sector, definitely needs more intensive trainings and if we are looking forward to have qualified nurses we need to work on the whole medical system in Egypt, in my opinion, explains dr. Rady.
Patient’s rights in Egypt:
On the issue of patient’s rights Dr. Karim mahdy explains that to sue a hospital or a doctor there must be records; in Europe, the doctor keeps an official record for all the procedures that were done for the patient; for instance if we are talking about dental medical procedures, images and scans are done for the patient before he is treated and after the medical treatment, to prove if certain mistakes took place if the patient sued the hospital or the doctor. Patients in England take compensations if it got proven that the doctor or the hospital did a wrong procedure or violated the patient’s right; for that reason the record system was applied as some patients did deliberately want to file a lawsuit just to receive the compensation, says Dr. karim.
“Some mistakes can happen, and they can be fixed; however some mistakes are fatal and it can happen out of ignorance or negligence; in Egypt, the main institution the patient submit his or her complain to is the syndicate;
I believe there must be a more strict penalty procedure within the medical field; this penalty procedures must be applied internally and externally. If mistakes took place the doctor or the nurse must be penalized, either by being downgraded or totally disqualified.
Externally, the syndicate must take immediate procedures; if a patient submitted a complain, a lawsuit must be filled and immediate legal procedures must be taken, explains dr. mahdy.
A consent form is also another form to guarantee the patient’s right; in Europe before having an operation the patient signs what is called a consent form; this form entails the possible risks that might take place after the operation.
Dr. Ismail Rady, says that recently media has been spotting too much light on Doctors’ mistakes.
“Related to patient’s rights in Egypt, the common procedure taken to sue a doctor is filling a police report, then the police report is transferred to the general prosecution; after which the doctor is called by the general prosecution, and I do believe that this is a bit humiliating for the image of the doctor; furthermore I do believe that the prosecutor does not have a background that will make him capable of understanding details related to the medical field. The following procedure is transferring the case to forensic affairs,” says Rady
“Let me say that currently Dr. Hussein khairy, Head of Egyptian Doctors Syndicate, is currently working hand in hand with the cabinet is order to pass the draft of the medical accountability law, which will be taking care of the whole story regarding patient’s right and classification of medical mistakes.
Dr. Radwa Abdel Hady, Cardiologist, says that the patients can deliver their complains to the ministry of health and population in Egypt; also there is a special committee called morbidity and mortality that is specialized with conducting the investigations related to doctors ‘mistakes.
Egypt Knowledge Bank:
Related to Egypt knowledge bank, Dr. Karim Mahdy, says that it is actually one of the most successful projects in Egypt.
“I have been using it for four years, and I think it is extremely useful; however it is not well marketed. Login is very easy, with the ID number. It helped me a lot while conducting my PHD; it is very well organized; it contains a very wide range of articles in various fields, free of charge; which is simply a brilliant idea, as most academic articles on other websites are charged. Articles, are also up-to-date,” says dr. Mahdy.
Dr. Ismail Rady, explains that he uses Egypt knowledge bank; he pin points that the website contains many academic articles and a wide range of articles related to the medical field. “ It is the Egyptian version of the biggest search engine PubMed; The idea of the project is excellent,” says dr. Rady