Egypt's parliament approves bill establishing a fund to spend on medical emergency services

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 8 Jun 2021

The bill states that two per cent of the proceeds of sales of imported cosmetics and three per cent of the sales of insecticides will go to the fund

Egyptian parliament
Egyptian parliament

Egypt's parliament – the House of Representatives – approved a new bill on Tuesday creating a fund to spend on medical emergency services that are not usually covered by the state budget.

"The Fund will be devoted to spending on patients receiving treatment at emergency and intensive care units, buying drugs and medicine, and providing health care services to citizens who are on waiting lists," said a report by the House's health committee.

Ashraf Hatem, head of the committee, said the Fund aims to offer necessary health services to citizens on a sustainable basis. "The Fund will be also used to cover the costs of tackling medical crises such the outbreak of infectious diseases and pandemics like the coronavirus, as well as containing natural disasters," he said.

Lawmaker Hanaa Sorour said the new bill is part of the government's social protection policies which aim to improve medical services without burdening poor and limited-income citizens with any additional costs. "We know that budgetary allocations to cover necessary medical services are not always enough and so the proposed Fund comes to financially contribute to bearing part of the costs of spending on these services," said Sorour.

The Fund on Containing Medical Emergency Cases will be headquartered in Cairo and affiliated with the Prime Minister.

Article 10 states that the resources of the Fund will come from personal financial donations, two per cent of the proceeds of sales of imported cosmetics and three per cent of the sales of insecticides, one per cent from private accounts affiliated with the Ministry of Health, contributions from the Central Bank of Egypt and public banks and the returns on the Fund's investments.

Article 11 states that the Fund will be used to spend on covering the costs of containing natural disasters, medical emergencies, crises and pandemics. The Fund's financial resources will be also directed to footing the bill of critical medical operations and contributing to the costs of patients who the government affords the expenses of their treatment.

Article 6 states that a council of trustees will be formed to draw up the Fund's general policies.

"The Council will also supervise the Fund's board of directors, issue the Fund's administrative and financial regulations, approve the Fund's budget and prepare an annual report on the Fund's performance to be submitted to the president of the republic," article six also says.

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