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Al-Sisi acknowledges failure of public hospitals, decides to privatise healthcare sector

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, 2 August 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, head of Egypt's post-coup government, announced his intention to privatise public hospitals so that Egyptian businesspeople and non-governmental organisations will manage healthcare institutions. He justified such move saying: "I hope that my decision would not cause inconvenience among you; however businessmen and NGOs proved to be more efficient when it comes to managing hospitals."

During his speech at the opening of the military hospital in Menoufia, Al-Sisi asserted: "Instead of paying 400 million Egyptian Pounds to build the hospital and then treat people, we will provide them with the necessary infrastructure."

Al-Sisi's statement came in response to the remarks made by Health Minister Hala Zayed, who revealed that the Ministry of Health succeeded in putting forth a partnership with the Orman Charitable Foundation by handing it over a hospital in Luxor. The hospital will be transformed into paediatric cardiology and heart surgery facility supervised by the Foundation.

UN report: Quality of life dropping in Egypt

Al-Sisi welcomed the establishment of such partnerships with charities, saying: "If we receive more collaboration requests from charitable foundations, which are trustworthy, we are ready to provide those willing to engage in such activities with 10, 20, 30, 50 and even 100 hospitals."

He added:

At first, when I came up with the idea, I thought that we will be able to sign partnerships with many charities. We started working with Orman Charity Foundation, but it is not enough. I am calling for businessmen who are willing to serve their country to engage in such project. The state will hand over the necessary infrastructure and available funds, within the limits of state's budget. Come with us and be of good help for your Egyptian compatriots. Let us bring successful and beneficial partnerships to the country.


The Egyptian president also commented on the massacre of the dialysis unit at Deerib Najm Hospital in Sharqia Province (central Delta) saying: "No one is immune from punishment; all convicted parties will be held accountable by the law.

On the other hand, the Health Minister explained that "the incident is being currently investigated by the Public Prosecution. Water samples from all areas surrounding the hospital were collected, and monthly maintenance contracts and reports are under revision." Zayed added that: "the medical intervention which took place in the hospital saved the remaining dialysis patients."

Egypt witnessed the death and infection of 15 patients with kidney failure, following the disruption of dialysis machines during the routine washing process in the city of Deerib Najm, in Sharqia Province, which sparked widespread public resentment over the deteriorating healthcare system in Egypt.

The rates of kidney failure disease are high in Egypt as a result of the increase of water polluted with toxic wastes generated by the industry, agriculture and garbage.  Water is not adequately filtered in Egyptian purification plants, following strict international standards; in addition to the deterioration of drinking water pipes in most parts of the country.

Kidney failure ranks seventh in the list which includes the ten most chronic diseases leading to death in Egypt, after heart disease, stroke and cancer.

People affected by the disease constitute the largest base of free treatment beneficiaries who are receiving healthcare at the expense of the state. Those patients get 25 per cent of the total amount of state treatment budget which is estimated at 5.4 billion Egyptian Pounds.

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