Egypt’s health minister Ahmed Emad El-Dien (Al-Ahram)
An Alexandria administrative court ordered on Wednesday the health ministry to treat at the expenses of the state children who have dropped out of basic education and aren’t covered by basic governmental medical insurance.
The lawsuit was filed by the father of a 14-year-old Mohamed Massoud, who suffers from Niemann–Pick disease, a rare inherited severe metabolic disorder; a disease that hasn’t allowed Massoud to enrol in a school due to his severe medical condition that has crippled his ability to move and speak.
The father filed the lawsuit after the health ministry’s abstinence from providing his son with the necessary medical treatment.
“With the legislator granting enrolled school children only the benefit from basic government medical insurance, the legislator would be discriminatory with no objective basis against children who have dropped out of school or others like street children. The constitution itself doesn’t restrict the right of children for medical care based on their school system affiliation,” the court stated.
According to Article 53 from Egypt’s 2014 constitution, citizens are equal before the law, possess equal rights and public duties, and may not be discriminated against on the basis of religion, belief, sex, origin, race, colour, language, disability, social class, political or geographical affiliation, or for any other reason.
According to a UNICEF Egypt report published in 2013 , Egypt has a percentage of 5.7 percent of children who have dropped out of school.
About 20 million children are enrolled in different levels of education according to the same report.