Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.
Egypt’s Universal Healthcare Insurance Agency (UHIA) recorded 36 percent year-on-year growth in its revenues in FY 2020/2021, attaining a 129 percent increase in investment returns, Minister of Finance and UHIA head Mohamed Maait announced on Monday.
Egy[t has an advanced strategy for the safe investment in the universal healthcare insurance system that brings in the maximum returns without affecting the liquidity needed for the system, he added.
Egypt's treasury shouldered EGP 39.3 million in FY 2020/21 in the form of subscription fees for the people who were unable to afford them, with an increase of 449 percent on FY 2019/20, Maait stated.
The UHIA paid EGP 988 million to Egypt’s General Authority of Healthcare (GAH) as the value of the medical services extended to the system's beneficiaries in Port Said, where the system was first applied, he added.
The figures are a positive indicator that shows the state's ability to keep the required financial inflows into the system to ensure its successful continuation nationwide, the minister said.
The cost of the medical services offered under the system have been updated for the third time to keep up with the changing prices taking place in the market and ensure the quality of the services offered, Maait continued.
"The prices are reviewed on a regular basis, taking into account the annual inflation rate, the cost and quality of the presented medical services and the changes of the banking market,” he explained.
Maait added that the UHIA financial position is solid, stating that the system can be applied gradually in other governorates in line with the presidential directives to speed up its application countrywide. It can be applied across all governorates in 10 years time, he said.
He added that actuarial studies are conducted every four years tops to review the system’s financial sustainability.
UHIA CEO Hossam Sadeq said the system includes 2,850 medical services and that the agency is expanding the list of hospitals, medical labs, and pharmacies working under its umbrella.
A recent report published by Oxford Business Group (OBG) stated that despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Egypt’s healthcare sector has a significant potential in the medium and long terms.
“While the global spread of COVID-19 has placed exceptional strain on the country’s health systems and infrastructure, the pandemic provides Egypt with an opportunity to streamline reforms, and locate and strengthen weak spots in its health system," the report stated.
"The rollout of the universal healthcare insurance scheme, along with encouragement from the government for pharmaceuticals production, is making Egypt a more lucrative destination for investment from international firms, which places the country in good stead to reap the benefits that lie ahead,” the report added.
In July 2019, Egypt launched the first phase of the system in Port Said. The system witnessed some setbacks because of the pandemic outbreak, but it resumed on 23 July 2021 in Ismailia, South Sinai, Luxor, Aswan, and Suez.