CAIRO: The newly-appointed Egyptian health minister has stirred controversy after ordering hospitals to play the national anthem every day.
Minister Hala Zayed said her decision is meant to encourage patriotism and loyalty to the country, local media reported. But some social media users described the move as a “joke.”
“This also would remind physicians of their professional principals and the humanitarian and noble role they play in the society,” Zayed said.
Khaled Megahed, spokesman for Egypt’s health ministry, said the anthem would be played at 8am through hospitals’ internal radio followed by the doctor’s oath.
He said there’s no going back on the decision, adding that there won't be a morning assembly to greet the flag.
But many Egyptians said they cannot take the minister’s decision seriously, and that the government should focus on investing in the nation’s crumbling health service.
Well-known Egyptian TV host Amr Adeeb said on Wednesday: “Why do we have to provoke the patient and tolerant Egyptians who are anxiously waiting for hope, a proper health insurance and improvement of government hospitals, with such decisions?”