Shortages of medicine, say doctors

There is a shortage of 25 types of medicine for tumors, the heart, the chest and intensive care purposes, medical sources have said. Some of the drugs in short supply cannot be substituted with different drugs.

Dr. Awad Gabr, president of a pharmaceutical company, said the medicines would be available in ten days. “Importers will bring in more raw material consignments for us to continue production,” he said.

Shortages of drugs in Egypt are prevalent, and Egyptians complain of rising prices.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Egypt’s government spent only US$48 per capita on health care in 2008, less than half the $115 spent by Tunisia or the $172 spent by Jordan.

The Health Ministry blamed the pharmaceutical companies for the shortage of intensive care medication.

“We gave them notice,” said Assistant Health Minister Abdel Hamid Abaza, conceding that public hospitals owe money to the companies. “But they [the hospitals] already paid some LE86 million of their debt.”

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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