FILE - President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi reacts after delivering a speech at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo on February 29, 2016 - Reuters
CAIRO – 20 September 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi discussed a number of vital health topics including initiatives to eliminate Hepatitis C and hospitals’ waiting lists. He also reviewed with the Health Minister the death of three dialysis patients in one of the public hospitals in Sharqia earlier in September.
This came on the sidelines of the inauguration of Menoufia Military Hospital on Wednesday.
Hepatitis C test
Sisi called on Egyptians Wednesday to test themselves for Hepatitis C once the campaign launches next October, within the framework of the state’s initiative to eliminate HCV.
Sisi affirmed Egypt’s ambitions to carry out tests for all Egyptian citizens above 18 years, adding that the government is seeking testing school students as well.
Sisi called for honoring the doctors of the National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute for the efforts they exert to eliminate the virus that many Egyptians have suffered from severely over the last 40 years. Sisi hopes Hepatitis C will be eliminated in Egypt within two years.
Presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said earlier in September that Egypt will launch the "largest medical campaign in the world" next October to detect and treat Hepatitis C for 50 million citizens.
In August, Rady said during a phone interview on "Salet al-Tahrir" TV show that the ministry is conducting the scan as a prelude to the new health insurance project. The scan includes 50 million citizens in order to spot any patients with Hepatitis C virus and other diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
The scan is expected to take place from October 2018 until April 2019 in all Egyptian governorates.
President Sisi said that the number of Egyptian hospitals do not suffice to treat all people on the waiting lists.
Sisi said that the number of people on the waiting lists has reached 40,000 in two months, since the state’s initiative to end waiting lists was launched, adding that the money allocated to treat waiting lists’ patient will likely be insufficient for this new number.
Upon instructions from President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Health Ministry announced in July launching the national health insurance project at a cost of LE 18.2 billion.
President Sisi asserted his keenness to improve the health sector and related services nationwide, especially those provided to low-income brackets, as well as his eagerness to finalize the health insurance system project.
The first phase has included eliminating patients’ waiting lists within six months, developing 47 hospitals nationwide and maintaining strategic stocks of vaccines, and infant formula.
During his meeting with Health Minister Hala Zayed and Director of El-Galaa Medical Complex Bahaa Eldin Zidan, Sisi ordered putting an end to patients' waiting lists for surgeries as soon as possible within the framework of an integrated system, instructing them to continue the project for three years to avoid any new waiting lists.
Dyarb Negm’s incident
President Sisi called on Zayed to speak about the incident taking place few days ago, when three citizens died in Dyarb Negm public hospital, while undergoing dialysis. The cause of death has not yet been officially announced.
Zayed said that the case was referred to the Public Prosecution for legal procedures, adding that the ministry does not accept any human or non-human errors in the provision of medical services.
Listening to Zayed’s review of the case’s updates, Sisi said that sending governors to supervise hospitals is not an intervention in the job of the hospitals’ managers, adding that such a decision aims to enhance supervision, and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.