Egypt: Health Ministry & Commodification of Medical Services

Source: Egyptian Institute for Studies

Author(s): Abbas Qabbari

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Since the 3 July coup (2013), the Egyptian administrative apparatus, particularly ministries and service authorities, has been at stake, as the new ruling regime differently views the state’s role in provision of services, where the statement promoted by the coup leader, “’You will pay’ means ‘You will pay’”, has been adopted by the government as a key approach.

Accordingly, the legislation machine has issued a series of laws and decrees that actually deprive the Ministry of Health of its mandate over its main traditional functions, including the universal health insurance laws, the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply and Technology Management (AUPP), the compulsory training, and others, which all aim at investment and profit-making, taking advantage of the state’s powers to monopolize the provision of medical services and benefit from exemption.

This raises an important question about what has remained of the role, responsibilities and terms of reference of the Ministry of Health; and whether the ministry has actually been transformed into an investment authority that only seeks to make profits?

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