Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady said that The World Bank (WB) offered to lend his ministry $200m to assist its plan for screening the hepatitis C virus that it is implementing.
Rady added, at a meeting with the Canadian Egyptian Business Council on Tuesday evening, that the WB realises the importance of screening hepatitis C, so it offered to loan the sum to the ministry, noting that it will be repaid in 25 years.
“Screening hepatitis C is very expensive. It costs about $370m, which we cannot afford on our own,” added the minister, noting that his ministry aims to screen 15 million Egyptians in 2018.
“President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi asked us to implement the screening in all governorates. Since 13 February, we screened 500,000 Egyptians,” Rady said, noting that the Health Ministry could treat another 1.5 million hepatitis C patients in one year and a half.
Meanwhile, the minister of health said that the comprehensive insurance system—recently approved by the Egyptian Parliament—will be a positive step forward because it will cover all Egyptians, making full use of international experiences, mainly those of France and the UK.
“The new insurance system will begin in the governorate of Port Said. The political leadership will boost the implementation of the new system in line with the Egyptian Parliament’s plan, despite the ministry’s limited budget,” said the minister.
“President Al-Sisi will open 30 new hospitals in nine governorates in the coming two weeks,” said Rady, adding that no new hospitals opened in Egypt between 1997 and 2015.
The minister noted that the last two years witnessed the development and opening of 72 hospitals in various governorates.
The minister of health also said that Egypt is on track to produce drugs for cancer treatment in collaboration with a private sector company, adding, “there is a Russian company that plans to operate a factory producing cancer drugs in Egypt.”