حفلة 2024

World Bank to provide $400 million to support universal health insurance system in Egypt

The World Bank announced on Tuesday it would provide $400 million to boost universal health insurance coverage in Egypt, which struggles with growing numbers of new coronavirus cases.
The funding will help Egypt boost the reach of its universal health insurance system across six governorates and offer temporary financial protection to those hit by high out-of-pocket health expenditures linked to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the World Bank’s statement.
To date, Egypt has a total of confirmed 47,856 coronavirus cases and 1,766 deaths, with the daily spike in the number of infections rising in recent weeks as the government has slightly eased some restrictions on movement.
Though the Egyptian government has unveiled increases in health spending during the coronavirus outbreak, the sector has suffered from decades of under-investment.
In 2018, the World Bank launched a five-year, $530 million programme to support Egypt’s healthcare system that includes screening and treatment for Hepatitis C and non-communicable diseases, health facility improvement, and healthcare worker training.

“Expanding health care services is a national priority for the Government of Egypt. The Universal Health Insurance project with the World Bank encompasses mandatory coverage for citizens and unifies, for the first time, efforts with the private sector.” said Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat.

“The project aims at achieving value care services, including to the most vulnerable, by eliminating existing disparities,” Dr. Rania Al-Mashat said.

Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance Law (UHIL) guides the implementation of the universal health insurance aystem and accelerates progress towards universal health coverage in line with the health pillar of Egypt‘s 2030 sustainable development vision. The law envisions mandatory coverage for all citizens in the country, including vulnerable groups who will be subsidised by the government.

“The Project will support Egypt to achieve long-term stability in health financing with less dependence on state budget and less exposure to economic fluctuations,” said Egyptian Minister of Finance Dr. Mohamed Maait.

The project is also complementary to the World Bank-financed COVID-19 Emergency Response Project that aims to support the immediate operational challenges and critical areas of support identified as key gaps in Egypt’s national coronavirus response.

“Our support will help Egypt increase its coverage of the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) in six governorates, strengthen UHIS-related governance and institutions, and also provide temporary financial protection against high out of pocket health expenditures for vulnerable populations across the country,” said Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti.

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