Under the heading “Many Arab countries suffer from physician shortages”. Britain’s “Economist” magazine highlighted the problem of the shortage of doctors and medical teams, which has become a success in the Arab world, despite graduating thousands of medical schools each year.
The magazine said: The Middle East is like most of the northern hemisphere, and its health condition is deteriorating with the high prevalence of Coronavirus. In Lebanon, for example, which was a destination for affluent patients because of doctors trained in the top universities of Europe and America, its hospitals became vacant of these doctors and They prefer to migrate for money.
The magazine added that the Corona virus is spreading in many Arab countries, which has prompted many governments to tighten closures, as Tunisia enforces curfews, and stops traveling between regions, and other countries are studying similar measures, but the closures offer little relief to doctors forced into combat. Virus.
Although there is no world-class standard for a good healthcare system, the World Health Organization offers at least 45 skilled individuals (doctors and nurses) for every 10,000 people, and at least nine Arab countries fall under this standard.
And in some cases, according to the magazine, the shortage is hugely noticeable, in Egypt, for example, it had fewer than 5 doctors per 10,000 people in 2018, down from more than 11 doctors in 2014, and the number of doctors in government hospitals fell by a third during those times. Period.
The magazine explained that this is not a lack of talent, as many doctors graduate in Egypt every year, where around 7,000 of them graduate each year, but once they graduate, many doctors want to leave , and money is the most obvious reason.
The magazine explained the issue, saying that the new Egyptian doctor receives a salary of between 2000 and 2500 pounds (128-160 dollars) a month, which is not enough for the poor family who spend around 4000 pounds per month, a number that has increased since the value of the pound floated in 2016.
In Tunisia, a medical expert makes about $ 15,000 a year, which is the same amount a person would earn a month from exercising in a wealthy Gulf country.
The magazine highlighted that working conditions could be another reason for doctors to emigrate, as many government hospitals in Arab countries suffer from overcrowding and lack of equipment, in Iraq there are only 13 beds per 10,000 people, o ‘ compared with 22 in Saudi Arabia and 28 in Turkey, where the system has broken down. Iraq’s healthcare because of decades of war and sanctions, and successive governments have invested little to rebuild it.
According to the magazine, Egypt’s constitution, approved in 2014, required the state to spend 3% of its annual GDP on health care, but this issue was ignored, and only 1.4% of GDP spending in 2018.
According to the British Journal, the Corona virus has killed about 200 medical workers in Egypt, and underfunded hospitals are unable to keep up with rapid population growth, and in the three years after approval of the constitution, the number of hospital beds per 10,000 people fell by 8%. , From 15.6 to 14.3.
The magazine concluded its report by monitoring the percentage of doctors who left their homeland in recent years, saying: “About 400 doctors, or nearly 3% of the total workforce, left Lebanon last year, and the National Syndicate Council says Medical in Tunisia has 40% of its members practicing the profession. Outside her homeland, and in Egypt the figure is closer to 50%. Mass immigration has given rich countries plenty of doctors, but has left many countries in the Arab world suffering from severe shortages.