Egypt: The Right to Health Care

September 24, 2012

Independent Cairo-based media collective Mosireen examines the pressing issue of access to health care in Egypt, highlighting two public hospitals—one squalid, the other unstaffed—that lack the basic resources necessary to serve the sick and injured.

In post-election Egypt, one of the most urgent struggles concerns public access to adequate health care. In this video, the Cairo-based non-profit Mosireen—an independent media collective organized during the revolution whose name evokes the Arabic word for Egyptians (“masireen”) and means “the people who insist”—highlights two public hospitals lacking resources to serve sick and injured Egyptians. The first is overcrowded, squalid and unequipped, with grossly insufficient medicine, filthy restrooms and an “X-Ray department” that features a single, dilapidated machine capable of arm and leg scans alone; the second has up-to-date equipment and clean facilities, but virtually no doctors or medicine.

The citizens, activists and doctors featured in this video underscore Egypt’s unequal distribution of resources, noting the stark disparity of conditions between the nation’s public and private hospitals. A young man laments that citizens’ complaints, protests and occupations have been met with silence. “Any revolutionary push right now gets dealt with careless mockery by the government. I don’t get it; it’s as if people didn’t even have the right to ask for their rights.”