Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said has agreed to allocate EGP 260m to the Ministry of Health and Population to aid efforts in curbing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The finance comes as part of efforts to increase the investment plan in the project to supply advanced medical equipment in the treatment programmes at the Ministry of Health and Population’s general office.
The EGP 260m in financing comes as an additional appropriation to meet the urgent requirements to confront the COVID-19 pandemic in the current fiscal year (FY) 2020/21 plan. This step is also set to help increase hospital capacity, with 1,000 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 500 ventilators.
El-Said stressed the importance of supporting the health sector to improve the quality of health services provided to citizens, and upgrading the health system. She noted that the repercussions of the global health crisis have demonstrated the importance of an effective, strong, and coherent health sector.
The minister added that there is a growth in the investments directed to the Ministry of Health and Population’s projects in the FY 2021/22 plan, where investments will reach EGP 47.5bn. This reflects an increase of 205% compared to FY 2020/21, and includes projects related to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s ‘Decent Life’ initiative.
El-Said explained that the most important programmes and initiatives in the health sector for the next fiscal year are to provide the necessary funds to enter service hospitals. This will seek to accelerate the rates of implementation of health facilities under construction and development to quickly enter service and start to benefit citizens from them.
“It is intended that 23 hospitals will be completed, the completion rate of which is currently 77%, alongside the initiative of the National Project for Self-Sufficiency in Plasma Derivatives, which aims to establish 20 plasma collection centres and a central strategic store,” El-Said explained.
She added that the health sector initiatives within the FY 2021/22 plan include developing critical and urgent care departments in hospitals, expanding the availability of intensive care beds, as well as implementing the objectives under the “Women’s Health” initiative.
This aims to provide the best service for breast cancer patients, by raising the efficiency of medical staff and developing the infrastructure to ensure treatment quality.
El-Said indicated that the health sector initiatives include enhancing the capacity of health facilities to provide medical services in a distinguished manner, in light of curbing the coronavirus.
The initiatives also aim to increase coverage rates at university hospitals in the governorates, and creating an electronic health record for all visitors.
Regarding the plan to develop the Egyptian family during FY 2021/22, El-Said said that efforts are being made to improve population characteristics, control population growth, and work to raise the efficiency of 125 integrated hospitals.
Moreover, the plan aims to operate 200 sewing workshops attached to the Al-Takamol hospitals, which will also provide family planning methods. This is in addition to the operation of 20 family development centres, in addition to financing 350,000 micro-projects, and automating family planning services and linking databases.