Health Ministry: 12,000 treated for free

The Health Ministry provided 12,000 patients being treated in ministry and university hospitals with free health care, said Assistant Health Minister for Political Affairs Abdel Hamid Abaza. He pointed out that thousands of patients were examined to determine their degree of disability.

In a report submitted to the People's Assembly Health Committee, Abaza said that 320 people who had been injured during the revolution and who needed surgery had been treated at the government's expense.

The report Abaza submitted discussed the results of the strategic plans prepared by the Health Ministry up to March 2012.

He said the ministry has provided one ambulance for every 38,000 citizens and that 70 percent of roads had ambulance coverage, with one ambulance for every 20 km. He added that 39 percent of response rates to accidents were within eight minutes and that the ministry owned 2,500 ambulances, including 1,838 new and 700 old ambulances nationwide.

Abaza said that the Health Ministry coordinated with the Finance Ministry in order to provide LE500 million in free health coverage for the years 2011 and 2012 and to provide LE250 million for 126 hospitals, including 52 public hospitals and 74 central hospitals. Each hospital is being provided between LE1 and 4 million. He went on to say that the money only covers medication and medical supplies. He pointed out that coordination with the Finance Ministry would hopefully provide LE1 billion in free health coverage annually.

According to the report, the ministry allocated LE2.5 billion for treatment at the state's expense during 2011-2012, and LE1.3 billion is currently available for this purpose. It also revealed that 865,199 citizens were provided with health care amounting to LE1.5 billion and that coordination with the Finance Ministry would hopefully result in the provision of LE3.5 billion in treatment at state expense for the fiscal year 2012-2013.

He said 17 diseases are currently listed as to be treated at state expense, including liver, kidney and heart disease, cardiac surgery, malignant tumors and blood diseases, organ transplants, and non-cancerous blood diseases.

The report said that the General Authority for Health Insurance provides its services to some 46.8 million citizens, representing a 59 percent coverage rate of the total population. He said the ministry was in the process of issuing the comprehensive health insurance law that would provide health coverage to all citizens.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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