President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified on Monday the Comprehensive Health Insurance Law which will be mandatory for all citizens living in Egypt and optional for Egyptians abroad, according to state media.
The law was published in the official state gazette Tuesday and came into force the following day. The prime minister shall issue the executive regulations of the law within six months from the date of its publication in the gazette.
The health insurance law is expected to be implemented in six stages over 15 years, beginning next year with the governorate of Port Said. Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy had previously said that the law will cover 40% of Egyptians.
According to the new law, three bodies will be established to manage the health system: The General Authority for Health Insurance, which will finance the system, The General Authority for Healthcare, and The General Authority for Accreditation and Supervision, which will determine the hospitals and medical units eligible to join the system in accordance with certain quality standards.
The law, which was approved by parliament in mid-December, is expected to be implemented in six stages, each comprising a number of governorates. The final stage will include Cairo, Giza, and Qalyubia governorates.
Despite the government’s high praise of the law and believing in its efficiency, it was rejected by the Doctors’ Syndicate and other entities for several reasons, on top of which is the unclear mechanism for implementing the law, the 15-year deadline for all governorates to be covered without an alternative plan to deal with the 50 million citizens covered by the current insurance umbrella, and the penalties over service quality.