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Keep Updated On The Progress

News and more

Keep Updated On The Progress

Tuesday, 06 October 2020 Sector(s) : Health

Public and Private Collaborations Critical in Closing Health Financing Gap: Al Mashat Refers to During OECD Virtual Roundtable

Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al Mashat, participated in OECD’s Roundtable on Investment and Sustainable Development (RISD) to support multilateralism’s contributions to achieving the 2030 Agenda and discuss the opportunities and risks associated with private investment in health-related industries.

The roundtable participants included senior government representatives from the investment communities, international organizations, business, labor and civil society, as well as scholars from academia and think-tanks, including Ralf van de Beek, Deputy Head Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands and Matthias Helble, expert in health, trade and investment policy at the Asia Development Bank. Al Mashat noted that there is a global financing gap in the health sector, referring to the World Bank’s recent statements that the world’s 54 poorest countries will face in 2030 an annual $176 billion gap in their ability to pay for essential health services. To fill this gap, Al Mashat referred to public and private collaborations as critical in providing healthcare services. The minister highlighted Egypt’s commitment to invest in health, citing the establishment of the first Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) that provides equal access to health care services for all, with renovation operations currently taking place in Luxor and South Sinaï. Under the UHIS framework, 79 hospitals and 294 primary healthcare units will be developed in 9 of the top priority governorates To support Egypt’s health sector, Ministry of International Cooperation obtained $500 million in finances this year amid the Covid-19 crisis, including a $400 million fund by the World Bank to strengthen Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) and EUR 30 million from France to purchase medical and protective equipment. Al Mashat noted that creating a cohesive environment for the private sector is integral to protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens, as the Ministry of International Cooperation has been coordinating with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to provide finances to the private sector in Egypt’s healthcare industry such as Humania, providing a financing package worth in total US$108.5 million to Humania in June 2020 to develop a network of high-quality hospitals in Egypt. In her conclusion, the minister added that Egypt's investment in health can create a positive spillover effect in Africa and increase FDI and private sector investing in health. For his part, Manfred Schekulin, Chair, OECD Investment Committee, highlighted the importance of cooperation with the private sector for improved health services, and that it is time to move away from focusing on the sheer numbers of investment flows, but on the impact the investment had on society and improving human lives.