Parliament approves comprehensive health insurance bill

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Sun, 17 Dec 2017 - 01:04 GMT

FILE - Parliament General Assembly

FILE - Parliament General Assembly

CAIRO – 17 December 2017: The parliament approved during the general assembly on Sunday the comprehensive health insurance bill drafted by the government and submitted in October after discussing the Health Committee’s report on the law.

The law provides free health care for citizens who cannot afford to pay. These account for 30-40 percent of the population. Subscription would be obligatory for those who can afford covering treatment costs for all diseases. The sources of funding would include fees paid by citizens, donations, tax on cigarettes, and others increasing from three to six sources.

During the last month, the health committee in Parliament held intensive meetings with the Minister of Health Ahmed Emad Al-Din and related state officials to hear the government’s view of the bill and put its report.

The new bill mandates establishing three new administrative bodies to manage the new system: a financing body; a healthcare body that delivers the service in primary healthcare units and hospitals; and a body that will handle accreditation of service units and providers, quality of service, and supervision of operations.

Egypt has allocated LE 53.3 billion ($2.9 billion) in the current fiscal year 2016/2017 budget to healthcare, representing 5.7 percent of total government spending. The state spending for healthcare is seen as insufficient and far below international standards.

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