Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait has said that his ministry is working on the first phase of the country’s comprehensive health insurance system during this fiscal year in five governorates.
The governorates are Luxor, Ismailia, Aswan, Suez, and South Sinai.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, on Wednesday, said that it takes into account the application of the latest automated systems in providing medical services.
The aim is to make it easier for users, and to strengthen governance to ensure the sustainability of the overall quality. This comes in line with the country’s strategy for a gradual transition to greater digitalisation, with the importance of the digital Egypt concept evident with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Maait, who is also Chairperson of the General Authority for Comprehensive Health Insurance, affirmed that the pandemic has not impeded the state’s work and wise political leadership.
This work has aimed to achieve the dream of all Egyptians to provide comprehensive health care. It is steadily progressing in implementing the national project for comprehensive health insurance across the country within 10 years, instead of the previous target of 15 years.
This comes in implementation of presidential mandates, so that this umbrella extends to include all Egyptians. It will also allow them to benefit from the excellent health care services it provides to all family members.
Maait pointed out the increasing attention paid by the political leadership to the speed and accuracy of implementing the comprehensive health insurance system. It comes as one of the tools for reforming Egypt’s health system, which is consistent with the other priorities of the state during the current phase.
The focus is on “building people” and providing a decent life for citizens through the implementation of major development projects. They include the national project for the development of the Egyptian countryside, to improve the standard of living of about 55 million citizens in villages.
Maait pointed out that there are financial allocations in the budget of the current fiscal year (FY) 2020/21. These will go towards rehabilitating healthcare units, centres, health facilities and hospitals in the governorates of the first phase.
The minister added that the General Authority for Comprehensive Health Insurance is ready to launch the new system in any of the governorates of the first phase. This will take place once the necessary preparations are completed, taking into account the benefit of the experience in Port Said.
It is particularly important given the increasing demand by citizens to join this system. Moreover, constant field follow up is taking please to ensure that everything goes as planned.
A total of 2,300 medical services will be provided to the beneficiaries of the comprehensive health insurance system in Ismailia, through 12 hospitals, 20 centres, and 34 health units.
Hossam Sadek, Executive Director of the General Authority for Comprehensive Health Insurance, said that Egypt’s healthcare authorities provide a package of medical services to beneficiaries covering all patient needs. These include surgical intervention, analyses, radiology, oncology treatments, organ transplantation, prosthetic devices, visual and audio aids, dental treatment, therapeutic nutrition, and others.
The coming period will see more coverage included in this package, according to the latest methods of treatment and internationally approved drugs.
Maait stressed that there is no limit for spending on providing medical services to patients in the new system. It even allows travel abroad for those who need treatment outside Egypt, and the state bears all the treatment costs for those who are financially incapable of paying on their own.
The minister added that the procedures for implementing the comprehensive health insurance system in Ismailia are progressing in a way that can achieve comprehensive health coverage for citizens in the governorate.
This comes in a manner consistent with the presidential “A Decent Life” initiative. The comprehensive health insurance system provides integrated health care according to the highest standards of medical quality, for all Egyptians in villages and cities, without discrimination, to consolidate the principal of social justice.