The Egyptian parliament approved on Monday the controversial and long-awaited Comprehensive Health Insurance Law which is expected to be implemented in six stages, each comprising a number of governorates. The final stage will include Cairo, Giza, and Qalyubia.
According to state media outlets, only three MPs refused the law, while more than two thirds voted in its favour.
Amid fears that the bill will allow the privatisation of already existing public hospitals, the Egyptian Doctor’s Syndicate has called for amending some of the articles of the law, and has announced that it will host a general assembly to discuss it. It also called upon parliament not to approve it unless a consensus has been reached among various segments of society.
The government set the price of insurance per person in the draft of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Law at 1% of income for workers insured under Law No. 79 of 1975. The rate will be 5% of income for employees and freelancers who are not subject to Law No. 108 of 1976.
The rate would also be 5% for individuals under Law No. 112 of 1980, 2% for widows and pensioners, 3% for working women, 1% for couples’ first and second children, and 1.5% for children thereafter.
Government plans to supply 10% of tobacco tax to the new health insurance and 10% of health treatment will be paid for by the recipient under the new system.
The government has identified resources to finance the new comprehensive health insurance system, including private contributions, payments received through government services, and funding from the State Treasury for the needy.