- DevelopmentHuman Rights
- August 21, 2007
- 5 minutes read
Health Insurance Bill Shrouded in Mists
The health committee in the Egyptian People”s Assembly witnesses a hot discussion between Health Minister, Hatem Al Gabali, MPs of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) parliamentary bloc who rejected the bill law submitted by the Egyptian government for the health insurance.
MPs Hamdi Hassan, Akram Al Shaer and Mohamed Fadl who are also members of the Egyptian Doctors” Syndicate confirmed that assets of the health insurance authority must be preserved, that the term “the needy” must be defined, and that distinguished medical services must be provided for low-income citizens.
MP Mohamed Al Beltagi said commenting on the meeting of the health committee of the Egyptian People”s Assembly, that:” The MB parliamentary bloc will hold a session of discussion to collect views and suggestions to submit an alternative bill”.
Members of the MB parliamentary bloc have warned earlier that the government is seemingly going to privatize the health insurance, and they demanded at that time providing drugs in the Medical Insurance Hospitals, questioning the role of the health care holding company in realizing equality among those benefiting from the health insurance.
The MB parliamentary bloc members expressed their concern over the future of the low-income citizens under the new law. “The Health Minister speaks now about the bill of separating the service from funding, and that funding takes place through subscribers. This undoubtedly raises our concern. We even do not know who will fund the low-income citizens!”, said Dr. Mohamed Al Beltagi, a member of the MB parliamentary bloc.
“If the private enterprises offer subscriptions funding health insurance to their owners or workers, this is actually a flagrant injustice to low-income citizens, specially that we see the general approach in the country moves currently towards making citizens pay for the services, although these services are public should be offered for free” adds Al Beltagi to Ikhwanweb.
Dr. Hamdi Hassan, the head of the MB parliamentary bloc told Ikhwanweb correspondent that the MB bloc’s prime concern and worry is that it sees the Egyptian government moving gradually towards giving up its duty of paying costs of the services it is shouldered with “!
Dr. Mohamed Fadl voiced his concern over the powers given to the Minister of Health as he is heading the Health Care Holding Company.
Also voice his concern over the bill was Dr. Akram Al Shaer, saying:” A number of articles in the bill contradict with the Egyptian constitution” !!.
It is worth mentioning that a number of members of the health committee in the Egyptian People”s Assembly rejected the draft bill presented by the Egyptian government, confirming that it fails to offer distinguished health services to citizens. This took place during the meeting held on Sunday, August, 19th, 2007, headed by the chairman of the committee Dr. Hamdi Al Sayed.
The new bill wasn’t rejected by only the MB parliamentary bloc, a number of members of the health committee expressed their worries and objection to the bill. Dr. Hossam Madi objected to the sixth article which cover fees and subscriptions, stressing that other alternative means for funding health insurance must be sought.
Dr. Mohamed Zahran, the head of the health committee in Wafd Party, who was invited to attend the meeting of the health committee, warned of risks of the Prime Minister’s decision of turning the health insurance authority into a health care holding company. He pointed out that this decision stipulates defining the capital of the holding company capital the net book value of the assets of all health insurance hospitals and clinics, and distributing the capital in shares fully owned the holding company that invests the money of the companies affiliated to it and establishing a company affiliated to it given that it has the freedom to sell or buy shares of these companies.
Dr. Zahran questioned the target from establishing a holding company, and how far the needy citizens will benefit from the health insurance umbrella. He demanded the social solidarity ministry contribute to paying the health insurance subscriptions of the low-income citizens and pensioners