Health Committee to ask for World Bank loan for healthcare reform

The Health Committee of the Shura Council agreed yesterday to obtain a World Bank loan to help develop the health insurance system in Egypt. Spending on healthcare in Egypt reached LE40 billion, with much of the spending coming from the pockets of citizens who pay for medicine and visits to private clinics, said Saeed Ratib, chairperson of the Health Insurance Authority.
Often times the sick seek treatment from private clinics and when they need hospital care they go to public hospitals, said Ratib. “The absence of an electronic record keeping system forces us to spend two months counting the number of Egyptians suffering from Hepatitis C. They receive treatment with Interferon from the Health Insurance Authority, and we have found that the numbers range between 400 and 450. After the introduction of an electronic record keeping system, the number of infected rose to 9000, and in the next year it rose to 20,000. We spent LE187 million on their treatment this year,” said Ratib.
Customer service at the Health Insurance Authority has improved, said the chairperson, arguing that previously it was difficult to find anyone at the Health Insurance Authority who was smiling. The number of complaints has decreased as customer service reforms were implemented, and the remaining complaints are no longer malicious.
One member of the Health Committee, Ewad Tag el-Deen warned against taking out a long-term loan from the World Bank, as the current low interest rates are unlikely to persist. The loan should be used only for urgent projects, he added.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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