Egyptian plan for universal health insurance wins World Bank support

19 Jun 20

Egypt is pushing forward with plans to create a universal health insurance system to support its most vulnerable citizens, with the first phase financed by a loan from the World Bank.

The $400m loan will fund the building blocks of the system, allowing it to launch in six of the north African country’s 27 governorates, to protect people against high out-of-pocket costs resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Expanding healthcare services is a national priority for the government of Egypt,” said minister of international cooperation Rania al-Mashat.

“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.”

He added that the project is aimed at eliminating disparities in health outcomes between the rich and poor, with those who are unable to cover the cost of the insurance supported to do so by the government.

“The project will support Egypt in achieving long-term stability in health financing, with less dependence on the state budget and less exposure to economic fluctuations,” said finance minister Mohamed Maait.

Egypt has set itself the goal of improving its human capital through a ‘whole of government approach’, which also includes investing in early years education and improving antenatal care.

The government hopes to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.

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