Thursday، 10 March 2016 - 12:10 PM
Egypt is one of the pioneering countries that paid due attention to health care. In this vein, ancient Egyptians excelled in the fields of medicine and medication. This was clearly shown on the inscriptions depicted on the temple walls showing that they used medicinal plants in curing diseases. Moreover, during the ancient times, various medicinal sectors including gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, anatomy, physiology and mummification had appeared.
When Ahmed Ibn Tolon ruled Egypt, he paid special care to the patients. He established the first hospital (Bimaristan) in the south and provided the doctors, pharmacists and medicine for curing the sick. In 577 A.H. (1181 A.D.) and during Salah al-Din era, special hospitals were built in Alexandria and Cairo that were called (time-honored Bimaristan).
During Mohamed Ali’s era, the school of medicine was established in Abu Zaabal in 1827, then transferred to al-Qasr al Aini in 1837. Furthermore, the first school of childbirth education was opened in al-Qasr al-Aini Hospital in 1838, the first pharmacy school was established in 1829 and the first school of nursing was found in 1928.
Right to Health Care:
Egypt is exerting strenuous efforts in providing health services for all Egyptians through an integrated system for health care that would realize an overall coverage to the essential health services. This should be done through establishing primary health care units, upgrading the public and health insurance hospitals and extending health insurance coverage to include all citizens.
Such rights are entrusted according to Article 18 of the Constitution that stipulates: Every citizen has the right to health and to comprehensive health care which complies with quality standards. The State shall maintain and support public health facilities that provide health services to the people, and shall enhance their efficiency and their equitable geographical distribution.
The Article compels the state to allocate a percentage of government spending to health equivalent to at least 3% of Gross National Product (GNP), which shall gradually increase to comply with international standards.
It also compels the state to establish a comprehensive health insurance system covering all diseases for all Egyptians; and the Law shall regulate citizens' contribution to or exemption from its subscriptions based on their income rates.
It also states that refusing to provide any form of medical treatment to any human in emergency or life threatening situations is a crime.
Investments in Health Sector:
Amount of expenditure on health services reached around LE 42.4 billion in 2014/15 (5.4% of the budget expenditure) against LE 33.5 in the modified budget of 2013/14.
Performance Indicators in the Health Service Sector of 2013/14:
Health sector realized various tangible achievements on all levels, as follows:
- Number of public and university hospitals reach 717, with around 98,000 beds. Average amount of per-capita expenditure on health in 2014/15 reaches around LE 493.
- Maternal mortality rates plummeted in 2011 to 54 for every 100,000 live births, then plummeted to around 47.5 to every 100,000 live births in 2013/14.
- Childbirth mortality rates (younger than 1 year old) dropped from 14.7 to every 1000 newborns in 2011 to around 9.5 to every 1000 newborns in 2013/14.
- Immunization of 2-year-old infants reached 100%.
- More than 50,000 citizens enjoy a health insurance coverage; representing around 58% of Egypt's population in 2013/14. Number of Health Insurance Hospitals is around 40.
- Total number of beds in the intensity care unites reached 1949, while number of patients reached 109040, with an accommodation average rate of 52.1%.
- Number of incubator reached 3020, while the number of cured cases reached 96184, with an accommodation average rate of 52.2%.
- Number of Renal Dialysis Unites reached 5179 machines, while total number of renal dialysis patients reached 21302.
- Total number of cases infected with mumps dropped to 4596 cases in 2014, against 20390 cases in 2013. Total number of infections with Chickenpox reached 1075 cases in 2014 against 3697 in 2013. Total number of infections with Meningitis reached 28 cases in 2014 against 43 in 2014. Total number of cases infected with Typhoid reached 4592 in 2014 against 4841 in 2013.
- The Ministry of Health and Population, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Cairo, declared a new 5-year action plan (2014-19) that includes 3 million citizens for the prevention of blindness and blurred vision under the theme “be sure to check your eyes.” This plan includes five principles and methodologies so as to increase the comprehensive Ophthalmology services.
- Total number of citizens who are freely offered immunization services through the Ministry of Health’s expanded immunization program reached 14 million, with a total cost of LE 500 million.
Combating Contagious Diseases:
Egypt is working hard on combating contagious diseases such as the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and poliomyelitis through launching national immunization campaigns and treatments:
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV):
The Ministry of Health and Population started receiving the Hepatitis C patient’s requests for medical treatment with the new drug in the second half of September 2014. Patients started receiving the medication as of mid October 2014 through 8 centers; to reach 26 centers within three months. This new medication is expected to cure 200,000 cases per annum. Total amount of expenditure on Hepatitis C treatment reached LE 250 million during the period from July 2014 till the end of March 2015. By the end of September 2015, expenditure is expected to reach LE 350 million.
2- A New Campaign to Immunize 15.5 Million Children against Polio
On March 31, 2015, the National Polio Immunization Campaign was launched to immunize 15.5 million Egyptian and non-Egyptian children under the age (1 day-5 years) during the period 19-22 April, 2015 so as to preserve Egypt as a polio-free country.
It is well known that the last polio case in Egypt was registered in 2004. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Egypt a polio-free country.
The National Polio Immunization Campaign started in all Egyptian governorates as of April 19, 2015 for four days, with the participation of 100,000 persons who are prepared, trained and provided with 18 million doses of polio drops to immunize all targeted children.
Other Achievements and Indicators:
- By the end of 2015, more than 15 hospitals in Cairo and other governorates, on top of which are al-Arish General Hospital, el-Dabaa Hospital, Zefta General Hospital, Atfih Central Hospital, el-Ayyat Central Hospital, Shabrament, al-Warraq, Central Qalioub and el- Quseir Central Hospital will be inaugurated.
- A number of eight hospitals in various governorates, including Arment Central Hospital, 15 May, el-Odaisat Central Hospital and Saint Catherine Hospital are currently under construction.
- A number of 31 hospitals in Cairo and other governorates are currently under development. Hospital automation is currently under study so as to form a database for the patients, diseases and means of treatment.
- In January 2014, 59 hospitals, out of 438 governmental hospitals were developed to offer suitable health services for the Egyptians. This comes within the framework of the hospitals development program that should be implemented all over the governorates.
- On May 17, 2014, the Air Force Specialized Hospital was opened in New Cairo with an accommodative capacity of 400 beds. In mid 2014, the foundation stone of a new university hospital with a total cost of LE 30 million was laid in the new Beni Suef, east of the Nile on an area of 25,000 m.
- Ministry of Health and Population declared that 50% of the total number of main health units, mounting to 5000 unit, has been established. The rest of the units are expected to be completely established before June 2017.
- A number of 7 quays for river ambulance were established in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Furthermore, a cooperation protocol with the Ministry of Defense has been signed to activate the Air Ambulance Service.
Number of Health Units with Beds by Sector (2002-13)
Unit: by number
Private Sector to total%