The Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, stated that health and education are among the top priorities of the Egyptian government.
This came during the Egyptian–French Health Forum that took place in Cairo on Monday.
The forum aims to discuss the government’s strategy to develop the country’s health sector.
It brought together a group of experts, companies and decision-makers from the French and Egyptians three round tables on comprehensive health insurance, and future medical sector reform and the French integrated healthcare experience.
For her part, the Minister of Health, stated that the strategic relations between France and Egypt reflect the common interest to boost relations between the two sides in the health sector, noting that this forum represents an opportunity to strengthen partnership with France in the health sector.
She noted that she met on Sunday with the French delegation that came to attend the forum, where they discussed many topics including ending the waiting lists in the hospitals, ending the problems of hepatitis C virus, enhancing hospital systems in Egypt, and improving the blood bank.
She pointed out that the meeting also dealt with discussions of plasma manufacturing.
Zayed indicated that they discussed the areas that the French side could cooperate with Egypt in, including helping Egypt in making amendments in the legislations of the pharmaceutical field with the aim of improving the health sector in Egypt.
She highlighted that Egypt will sign an agreement with France in January, aiming to improve the health sector, feeling optimistic that before the signing Egypt might take some advanced implementation steps.
She assured that Egypt will witness a significant shift in the health sector in the next period.
Agreeing with Zayed, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, stated that Egypt will witness a significant shift in the health sector during the coming period, due to the Universal Healthcare Law.
She stressed Egypt’s keenness to attract more French investments, especially in the health sector.
She noted also that the ministry is working to support the Egyptian President’s initiative to invest in the human element through supporting the health sector, and communicating with international financial institutions, which praised the success achieved by Egypt in this area.
Nasr mentioned that the Egyptian government appreciates the continued support of the French government and French private sector companies in Egypt, which is evident through the strategic and fruitful partnership in various sectors, especially in the health care sector, which is considered a priority for Egypt.
The minister added that Egypt has exerted great efforts to remove any obstacles facing investors in the health sector.
The Minister called on the various French companies to intensify their presence in Egypt, and expand their activities to benefit from the Egyptian competitive advantages and the great guarantees provided by the New Investment Law.
In that context, she declared that she will meet with the French delegation after the forum in order to explain to them the investment opportunities in Egypt in general, and in the health sector specifically.
Finally, she assured that France is one of Egypt’s most important economic partners on the European and global level, noting that French companies are strongly present in the Egyptian market in many vital fields such as industrial, agricultural, food, infrastructure and medical sectors.
For his part, the French ambassador to Egypt, Stephane Roumtier, stressed that France wants to support Egypt in the field of health, which is a priority for President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during his second term, and to provide the necessary means of funding for public health in Egypt.
Roumtier noted that France seeks to cooperate with Egypt in many areas in the health sector, including renewing the health sector, providing treatment for cancer diseases, in addition to providing training for doctors in Egyptian hospitals, as well as helping in improving the medicines’ manufacturing industries.
France also seeks to provide the funding needed to support improving the health sector in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Lamine Gharbi, president of the Medef delegation and chairperson of the French Federation of the private hospitals, stated that the Medef consists of 130 hospitals in France of the private sector.
He noted that the French delegation, which consists of the Medef delegation in addition to 14 health leaders in France, expressed their keenness to support Egypt in improving its health care sector through any means they need, covering all the afore mentioned areas that the ambassador mentioned before, especially cooperation in the areas that are related to the infrastructure of the health sector in Egypt.
He mentioned that France has a very intelligent, elegant experience in improving the health sector, so Egypt will benefit also through knowing how to deal with the challenges that already faced France before.
Discussing the Universal Health Law that Egypt is currently implementing, Ahmed El Sobky, Ministry of Health`s assistant for monitoring and control and supervisor of the Universal Health Insurance stated that the Universal Comprehensive Health Law is a historical step in Egypt`s history, noting that implanting this law needed a super power, but due to the efforts and the great attention of the government to this file, Egypt has been able to implement it.
He noted that the law is formed on six important pillars, including health technology, governance, funding, etc.
For his part, Ahmed Nasef, managing director at AXA General Egypt, stated that Egypt has taken bold and courageous steps in health reform, noting that in 2015, Egypt used to spend an average of $45 for health care on each citizen.
He continued that after implementing this law, Egypt will spend similar to what developed countries spend which is more than $3,000. He stated that AXA spends over $18bn globally every year on health care.