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Raising the prices of Egypt’s hospital services is necessary: Health Minister

Minister of Health Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar stated that increasing the prices of medical services in government hospitals was a necessary move after the prices of supplies and medicines rose by 150 percent recently.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the minister explained that moving the prices of medical services, which had been fixed for 27 years, was inevitable to keep pace with the large increase in prices.

It also serves to ensure the continuity of service provided to patients in government hospitals, he assured.

The minister added that hospitals need supplies, equipment, and medical staff to operate, and there are no capabilities in the hospital funds to adequately support this.

These recent decisions will not affect the ordinary citizen, he said, because any patient can be treated for free at the expense of the state or health insurance, and these people account for 95 percent of hospital admissions.

The remaining five percent pay from five to ten pounds for the examination ticket, and the hospital administration can exempt others unable to afford the ticket.

He pointed out that the ministry’s medicine budget ranges from LE20 to LE30 billion after the price increase.

Abdel-Ghaffar also referred to waste from the items dispensed in health units and hospitals, and added that dispensing imported medicines that have an Egyptian equivalent or substitute have been prohibited – a common practice around the world.

The minister called on doctors to be careful when dispensing medications, as the value of vitamins dispensed in hospitals amounted to LE 1.5 billion unnecessarily.

Simple measures taken can save LE10 billion, which will be directed to treatment at the state’s expense, the minister explained.

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