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Egypt to reduce medical training, increase doctor numbers

Image of a hospital in Cairo, Egypt [Alx R/Wikipedia]
Hospital in Cairo, Egypt [Alx R/Wikipedia]

The Egyptian government has launched a drive to encourage more people to study medicine and enter into the profession after scores have changed field or left to work abroad as the government tackles increasing debt and a budget deficit.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has previously announced that the state will not accept new appointments, however, the government will now be forced to appoint more doctors putting additional burdens on the budget.

Doctors and specialists in the health care sector in Egypt warned that increasing admissions to medical schools and allowing medical students to graduate ahead of time will affect the quality of their education because the students will not receive adequate training to qualify.

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Low salaries as well as lack of job security, including abuse by patients and their families, are among the issues which have left doctors looking for alternative sources of income.

According to official data, over the past three years, about 5,000 doctors working in government hospitals have quit.

A former official in the health ministry, Hisham Shiha, warned that if the changes are put in place, foreign countries will no longer recognise the certificates of Egyptian students because they did not receive adequate education.

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