The government will start a transitional period for implementing a new comprehensive social healthcare system in the current fiscal year (FY), aiming to provide family health services to all Egyptians, according to Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy.
He also confirmed the government’s commitment to increase public spending on healthcare, in line with its constitutional obligations. The efforts come as an essential step towards achieving universal health coverage for all citizens by 2030.
El-Garhy added that the Ministry of Finance is currently collaborating with all involved parties to prepare for the transitional period. The new comprehensive healthcare system will be implemented gradually, as each stage will target several governorates.
Deputy Minister of Finance for the public treasury and head of the Economic Justice Unit Mohamed Meit stated that the draft for the social health insurance system is the ministry’s priority, as it plans to pass the draft to parliament as soon as possible for discussion and ratification.
In reference to the financial burden of implementing a universal health insurance bill, Meit noted that the ministry is currently updating the actuarial studies for the new system. A study had been prepared for 2008-2011, in order to examine the financial prospects of the new system and the needed resources.
He pointed out that the African Development Bank has already agreed to provide a grant to Egypt to finance the updates on the actuarial study. Meit explained that there is an ongoing cooperation with several international organisations helping with the technical aspects required to reform the health sector finance systems. The reforms are to ensure the access of lower-income segments and the informal sector to healthcare, improve the quality of healthcare, and thus, achieving social justice.
International organisations will also aid Egypt to learn from international experience in the field of healthcare, as well as provide the necessary studies to assist the government in preparing for the transition period, Meit added. He stated that the Economic Justice Unit is coordinating with international organisations to set up workshops to discuss challenges that face the implementation of the new system, in order to increase the system’s revenues, ensuring its sustainability and efficacy.