Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance System

Source: Egyptian Institute for Studies

Author(s): Amgad Hamdi

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The universal health insurance system in Egypt is one of the most important projects that Egyptians have dreamed of, particularly during the past few decades. However, politicians have always used the project to make temporary gains by frequently promising citizens that they are on the verge of achieving their dream of getting a good medical service. With the outbreak of the Jan. Revolution (2011) and its demands of social justice, the hopes of Egyptian people escalated, with respect to possibility of acquiring their basic rights, most notably the right to healthcare.

However, all governments that came after the January Revolution adopted the idea of a universal health insurance system that addresses the distortions of the current health insurance system and provides a satisfactory health service for all citizens. However, the idea did not receive necessary discussion due to political and security instability at the time. Although the universal health insurance law was issued in December 2017, and its executive regulation was issued on 5 May, however the law has not yet been put into force in spite of the fact that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on the fifth of July for launching the scheme’s first phase as stated by the law.

This paper addresses past experiences of the health insurance issue and attempts to identify similarities and differences with the system presented by the new law. The study also introduces an analytical vision of significant problems related to the law.


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