Egypt to implement healthcare system nationwide within 10 years: Finance minister

Ahmed Kadry, Sunday 24 Jul 2022

Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait stated on Sunday that the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) would be implemented in all Egyptian governorates within 10 years upon a presidential mandate to compress its 15-year planned timetable, a statement by the ministry said.

Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait


“Providing comprehensive and integrated health care for all members of the Egyptian family is a dream that cannot be postponed,” said Maait, who is also head of the General Authority for the UHIS.

This comes despite all the global economic crises resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Europe that have forced the whole world to rearrange spending priorities, the minister noted.

The UHIS will be implemented in the rest of its first phase’s governorates — Suez, Aswan, and South Sinai — before the end of the current FY2022/2023 after the experience has succeeded in Luxor and Port Said and expanded to Ismailia, Maait stated.

The six-phase healthcare scheme started experimentally in Port Said in early 2018 and later expanded to Luxor and Ismailia, with the lowest-income citizens being given priority in the programme’s schedule. The capital, Cairo, was relegated to the final phase.

Over five million Egyptian citizens have been registered in the country’s UHIS in the governorates of the first phase, the cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) announced in December 2021.

While in April 2022, Acting Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said that nearly 15.3 million people would be added to the country’s UHIS in 2022, including farmers, seasonal workers, taxi drivers, fishermen, quarry and construction workers, as well as transport and shipping workers.

The beneficiaries of the UHIS have the right to choose where they can receive the medical service from the approved authorities under the umbrella of the new insurance system, Maait noted.

The UHIS covers more than 3,000 diverse health services ranging from surgical intrusions, medical analysis, radiology scans, tumour treatments, organ transplantations, as well as prosthetic devices in accordance with the latest advancements in the medical field, according to the finance ministry’s statement.

Moreover, Maait assured that for the needy families, the state’s public treasury would bear the financial burden of their sickness, along with the risks and psychological consequences.

CEO of the Universal Health Insurance Authority Hossam Sadek said that the UHIS is keen to provide a quick and instant response to the people’s complaints on its “unified complaints” platform.

Between November 2021 till July 2022, the UHIS received around 499 complaints, the statement cited Sadek as saying, with 187 complaints coming from Luxor, 279 from Port Said, as well as 33 general complaints. He assured that 99% of these complaints have been resolved.

“We aim to provide the ability to reserve medical services in the new medical system by a phone application, which helps alleviate the process on citizens,” said Maait.

The UHIS will be supported by state-of-the-art automation technologies as part of the Digital Egypt Strategy — a broader national plan targeting the digitisation of all government services countrywide — according to previous official remarks.

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