Egypt: Sustainability in Healthcare


His Excellency Dr Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s Minister of Health, spoke at the ABCC on 20 May at a seminar jointly organised with the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA).

In preparation for COP27 and as part of BEBA’s role in support of Egypt’s sustainable development, BEBA collaborated with the Department for International Trade to organise its seventh annual business mission to the UK, Road to COP27: Bridging the Implementation and Financial Gap.

The event hosted by the ABCC titled, Egypt: Sustainability in Healthcare, took place at the end of a four-day programme to the UK which ran from 17-20 May with Egyptian Ministers and around 70 business leaders visit in London to explore ways of advancing climate-driven policies through UK-Egyptian cooperation and investment in strategic sectors. The sectors under discussion included finance (green finance and bonds), healthcare, infrastructure, renewable energy (green hydrogen), and opportunities in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The delegation met with UK ministers and investors to discuss opportunities for private sector cooperation on these strategic sectors.

The aims of the mission were to foster Egypt-UK trade relations, showcase economic incentives that promote the green transformation, provide a platform for dialogue and cultivate a deeper sense of understanding of how partnership on key issues offered mutual benefit.

Heading the mission were Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Dr Mohamed Maait, Minister of International Cooperation, Dr Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Hala El Said, Acting Minister of Health Dr Khaled Abdelghaffar and Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Dr Mohamed Shaker, as well as Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, Engineer Yehia Zaki, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Mr Rami Aboul Naga, Chairman of the Unified Procurement Authority General, Dr Bahaa Eldin Zidan and other senior policymakers and business representatives from sectors as diverse as renewable energy, banking and pharmaceuticals.

At the ABCC hosted event Egypt’s ambitious drive to achieve Universal Healthcare Coverage was showcased by a panel of experts and dignitaries headed by H E Dr Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s Minister of Health, who gave the keynote speech.

The Minister’s remarks were well received by the British business executives and investors present who were interested in investing in Egypt and helping achieve its healthcare ambitions.

The seminar heard that part of Egypt’s Vision 2030 entails the adoption of a universal healthcare scheme to meet the needs of its growing population. The implementation of this plan opens up various opportunities for UK investors across medical services and expertise, as Egypt seeks to expand medical facilities, medical practitioners, devices and pharmaceutical supplies.

Egypt is well positioned to take a leadership role in the expansion of healthcare across the MENA region. The Ministry of Health and Population has stated that around 80% of Egypt’s pharmaceutical needs were already produced locally. Egypt is poised to become a major exporter potentially opening-up the entire African continent to its produce.

Speaking at the ABCC, Major General Dr Bahaa Eldin Zidan, Chairman of the Egyptian Unified Procurement Authority, stressed the importance of Egypt hosting the Africa Health ExCon in June 2023, which aims to advance Africa’s healthcare investments.

The meeting heard that the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) was the ambitious national healthcare system which aimed to cover all citizens by the time it is fully implemented. The scheme was being progressively introduced nationally over the course of a decade.

A six-phase implementation plan began in Port Said in 2018 and continues to be rolled out across Egypt’s various governorates. To date the UHIS has been introduced in Luxor and Ismailia, with priority given to citizens with the lowest incomes. The completion of the first phase will be implemented in Suez, Aswan and South Sinai by the end of the current fiscal year.

UHIS beneficiaries have the ability to choose where they can receive medical services under new insurance which covers more than 3,000 types of health treatment in areas such as surgery, medical analysis, radiological scans, tumour treatments, organ transplants, and prosthetic equipment.

Using the latest technology, the UHIS system will be supported by a smartphone app, in fulfilment of the national ‘Digital Egypt Strategy’.