Govt changes medical treatment guidelines

Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly said Thursday that the ministry will only cover medical treatment at public hospitals.
This declaration was in response to recent allegations by that certain members of parliament have been profiteering from sending patients to private hospitals at government expense.
The cabinet has also approved a 10 percent tax on cement, which will bring in LE600 million every year and will offset the cost of government-funded medical treatment, said the minister. “We have determined that certain diseases do not require prior medical approval by a medical committee in order to be enrolled in government funded treatment,” el-Gabaly added.
El-Gabaly also reiterated that his decision to reduce the price of 93 medicines, against the will of international pharmaceutical companies which produce the medicines locally, is final. “My decision is final and will be implemented in May. The companies can go to court if they disagree,” he said. He ruled out the possibility that the reduction in prices will lead to layoffs or the closure of domestic branches.
“The pharmaceutical sector only reached 25 percent of its export target of US$1 billion a year,” he said. “We need to find out why.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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