World Bank commits $530 million to supporting Egypt’s public healthcare system
Ahram Online, , Thursday 28 Jun 2018
45 million Egyptians are expected to benefit from the project

The World Bank has announced a $530 million project to improve the Egyptian public healthcare system, targeting 45 million Egyptians, according to a World Bank press release issued Wednesday.

The five-year 'Transforming Egypt’s Healthcare System' project will focus on supporting family planning services through a $35 million intervention, scaling up Egypt’s "groundbreaking Hepatitis C program," and supporting the new Universal Health Insurance System.

The new project, to be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Population, will focus on screening 1 million units of blood every year, increasing screening of Hepatitis C to around 35 million people and treating around 1.5 million patients.

The project also aims at screening 20 million adults against “non-communicable diseases and risk factors.”

These services will cover 600 primary healthcare facilities and 27 hospitals in the nine governorates that are part of the first phase of the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Insurance System (Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, South Sinai, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh).

The project aims at meeting the expected demand following the promulgation of the Comprehensive Health Insurance law in December last year.

The World Bank hailed Egypt’s Hepatitis C programme as a success for treating the poor.

“Egypt’s Hepatitis C programme has become an example for developing countries in ensuring that the poorest segment of the population has access to cutting-edge treatments at affordable costs which are expected to be further lowered through this project,” the World Bank said

Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr described the project as the largest support from the bank to Egypt in the health sector, according to a statement from the ministry.

“The project is in line with President El-Sisi's grand vision, which aims at investing in the Egyptian people. We welcome the World Bank’s support to the implementation of our ambitious home-grown health sector reform programme to enhance our people's livings standards," said Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, who also represents Egypt on the World Bank’s Board of Governors.

The World Bank mainly works on helping reduce poverty levels in Egypt and “boost shared prosperity.”

"This project is about investing in people," said Dr Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti. "Improving Egypt’s healthcare system will strengthen the country’s human capital and further build the foundation for growth and prosperity."

The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 16 projects and programmes with a total commitment of $6.69 billion.