Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has met with a high-level delegation from General Electric (GE) to forge new partnerships and enhance productive dialogue between the public and private sectors.
Present at the meeting were Catherine Estrampes, CEO of GE in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa, and Nael Dabagh, GE General Manager for the Middle East, North East Africa, Turkey, and Central Asia.
The meeting sought to discuss methods of forging new partnerships with global multinational companies, and enhance productive dialogue between the public and private sectors in healthcare. This aims to improve digital health services, increase innovation, as well as increase the inclusion of women.
As governments explore means to improve the coverage of healthcare services amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Minister Al-Mashat underlined the role of the private sector in the healthcare system.
She noted that it creates a powerful mechanism for addressing different challenges, by capitalising on the strengths of different partners. It also facilitates the provision of services, resources, as well as technical expertise or outreach.
To enable the development of a continuously improving healthcare system in Egypt, the minister stated that investment in digitalising healthcare have now become pertinent in transforming care delivery.
This is also important in providing sustainable training and capacity building for healthcare workers, as well as medical devices and equipment. The improvements would come in line with the technological advancements and global standards taking place at the international level.
As increased empowerment of women in the healthcare sector is more likely to close the gender gap and increase their ability to meet their own reproductive health goals.
As a result, the meeting highlighted the significance of gender-informed decision-making, as women make up around 42.4% of doctors and 91.1% of nursing staff in the public sector. Women make up 73.1% of nursing staff in hospitals and therapeutic facilities in the private sector.
The government has placed the creation of an equitable healthcare system as well as improved patient care as a key strategy. This is being implemented in cooperation with international organisations such as GE, to increase access to healthcare for the most vulnerable. It is also looking to expand services to other governorates, including the New Administrative Capital (NAC).
The partnership between the government and GE Healthcare extends back over 40 years, providing more than 15,000 healthcare technologies across Egypt to improve and modernise the sector.
The Ministry of International Cooperation is strengthening economic diplomacy through three main principles. The first of these is regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated.
The second is mapping ODA financing to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners. The third is adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P).
In June 2020, the World Bank approved $400m to support Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS). The system aims to unify public efforts with the private sector to achieve value care services for the most vulnerable and eliminating existing disparities by offering temporary financial protection.