The authorities have started drafting executive regulations to put into effect the new Comprehensive Health Insurance Law, reveals Dr Ali Hijazi, Assistant Minister of Health and Chairman of the Health Insurance Authority.
He said that the National Committee for Health Insurance had begun work on the regulations immediately after lawmakers approved the law last month. The drafting process is expected to be completed within two months, reported the independent weekly newspaper, El Fajr.
He added that the committee is chaired by Dr Abdelhamid Abaza, a former Assistant Minister of Health, and includes members who are doctors, experts from ministries (Finance, Social Solidarity, Manpower), academics, representatives of the Technical Office of the Minister of Health and the Technical Office of the President of the Health Insurance Authority.
Pricing of health insurance services
Dr Hijazi also announced the formation of a committee headed by the Minister of Health to price the services in the comprehensive health insurance scheme. He also confirmed that the committee began its meeting two months ago, and is scheduled to complete the task soon.
He added that the committee had prepared studies on some hospitals, as well as obtained the highest prices and the lowest prices of several medical procedures, and carried out an analysis of cost elements, including the salaries of medical professionals and costs of medicines, blood transfusion, and nutrition, etc.
He added that the pricing committee will continue to operate throughout introduction period of the law in the provinces, saying: "Certainly, prices change every period, especially of medicines and medical supplies, some of them imported."
Dr Hijazi said that the law will be applied first in Port Said for a start, to test the experience and ascertain the extent of success. He said that the Ministry of Health will raise the efficiency of hospitals in the province in the next six months as a prelude to implementing the comprehensive health insurance system. He added that the Ministry has started automating the claims system linking hospitals and the administration of the health insurance scheme.
He said that according to an actuarial study, the cost of implementing the law in Port Said alone will reach EGP6 billion (US$339 million).
He reiterated that the scheme would be implemented in the other governorates of Ismailia, Suez, North Sinai, and South Sinai in the first phase from 2018 to 2020, pointing to developments in the areas of Sinai and the Suez Canal.
He added that these governorates were selected to start the implementation of the law due to their low population density and high potential of development, thus greatly increasing the chances of success.
The comprehensive health insurance system is to be rolled out fully, nationwide, by 2032 in six phases.