The parliamentary Health Committee agreed to hold meetings in participation with all concerned parties to develop 377 small medical units across 16 governorates in the next period.
Member of the committee Samy El-Mashad said that the committee summoned the Minister of Health Ahmad Emad El-Din on Monday and three scenarios for the development were presented. The first would put the Ministry of Health in charge of carrying out development. The second would be to have Egyptian universities carry out the development. The third option would involve the development being carried out in partnership with the private sector.
Member of the Health Committee Shadia Thabet said that she refuses the participation of the private sector in developing small medical units at the current time, given the absence of a comprehensive health insurance system supporting low-income citizens, especially because of the increase of medicine prices.
She added that the aim behind establishing the small medical units was to alleviate pressure on public hospitals in cities and governorates by enabling medical units in villages and remote areas.
Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Arabi said earlier in press statements that NI Capital, one of the National Investment Bank’s investment arms, has been assigned as a financial consultant to offer the small medical units, which are affiliated to the Ministry of Health, for investment to the private sector.
The Doctors Syndicate has objected to offering the small medical units to investors, arguing that doing so will increase health services’ costs.
The secretary general of the Doctors Syndicate, Ehab El-Taher, said in previous statements to Daily News Egypt that the cost of treatment has become very high recently, especially with the rising cost of medicines.
He also said that the syndicate had informed the Ministry of Health, the parliament, the cabinet, and the presidency of its objection.
The Doctors Syndicate also presented suggestions on the optimal utilisation of the small medical units.
The syndicate’s suggestion included studying areas most in need of health services, developing the small medical units in these areas, while enabling the private sector to be involved in small medical units in areas that already have good hospitals and turn them into training and research centres in order to raise the quality of medical teams.