EGYPT—The Egyptian government has committed US$1.09 billion in funding for health infrastructure in the first phase of its Comprehensive Health Insurance System.

President of Egypt’s General Authority for Healthcare (GAH), Ahmed El-Sobky elaborated that the first phase includes the development of more than 50 hospitals and more than 300 family medicine centers and units in six provinces.

El-Sobky also noted that the cost bill of the Comprehensive Health Insurance project in the first phase exceeded US$ 1.72 billion.

Additionally, this first phase of the Comprehensive Health Insurance System will include more than 350 facilities, including medical complexes, hospitals, centers, and family medicine units.

Moreover, these facilities will provide healthcare services at three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

The services will be available to citizens in the provinces of Port Said, Luxor, Ismailia, South Sinai, Aswan, and Suez.

This announcement coincides with the fourth anniversary of the launch of the trial operation signal of the Comprehensive Health Insurance System from Port Said province in early July 2019 by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

El-Sobky explained that the development and updating plans for healthcare facilities to join the Comprehensive Health Insurance System are intended to expand the healthcare services provided in hospitals, centers, and family medicine units.

The health lead also pointed out that the system relies on developing family medicine centers and units, equipping them with medical devices and equipment to provide integrated primary healthcare.

Essentially, this will help to alleviate the pressure on secondary and tertiary healthcare in hospitals and enhance their ability to provide the service with the highest efficiency and quality.

El-Sobky confirmed that Egypt now has a strong healthcare system that receives political attention and support.

He stressed that the system has become equipped with advanced infrastructure, the best facilities, and high-quality cadres.

He also pointed out that this development has contributed to bringing back several of Egypt’s medical competencies who emigrated to work in the hospitals of the Healthcare Authority under the Comprehensive Health Insurance System.

Therefore, this has helped to provide the best healthcare service and care for citizens following the highest international standards.

El-Sobky concluded by saying that the GAH will continue to support the political leadership to complete the rest of the provinces in the Comprehensive Health Insurance System.

The President of Egypt’s GAH stressed that completing the project and extending it to the rest of Egypt’s provinces is a priority of the state and this would restore Egypt’s medical status at the regional and international levels.

Additionally, this first phase implements the political leadership’s vision of providing a healthcare model that offers the best healthcare and treatment services according to international standards.

Progress in achieving Egypt’s dream healthcare system

The Comprehensive Health Insurance System is the largest national project for health reform in Egypt and launching a package of health reforms to accelerate the provision of service to the citizens. 

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Egyptian government signed a US$330 million loan agreement in March 2023 to support the rollout of a comprehensive health insurance scheme in the country.

Egyptian government’s new universal health insurance system aims to provide all people with access to needed health services of sufficient quality to be safe and effective.

The project also received US$400m from the World Bank for its Phase I governorates.

The facilitation from the World Bank was meant to help strengthen the Comprehensive Health Insurance System governance and institutions and provide temporary financial protection against high out-of-pocket health expenditures for vulnerable populations outside Phase I governorates. 

The facilitation aims to assist the newly established governorate in the implementation of the Comprehensive Health Insurance System.

The bodies are the Universal Health Insurance Authority which procures health services, the General Authority of Healthcare which provides services, and the General Authority for Healthcare Accreditation and Regulation, which oversees accreditation and regulation.

In a nutshell, the leadership of Egypt contends that a strong healthcare system shows the productivity of a country, helps improve the quality of life, boosts life expectancy, and is a vital ingredient of the social contract in a country.

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