Egypt recently approved a new universal health coverage law that will expand healthcare to the entire population, including the roughly 30% who could not previously afford it. The new scheme will set fees based on an individual’s income level. Although participation will be required, those in the lowest socio-economic bracket will be covered by the state. Additional funding will be sourced from taxes on tobacco and polluting industries. The scheme will be implemented gradually between 2018 and 2032.
While many, including Dr. Tedros of WHO have praised this new law, others are worried about the ability for such a program to succeed in light of the country’s political instability. Egypt will hold a round of contentious presidential elections this March.
Regardless of the obstacles, Egypt has taken an extremely bold step in advancing health for its people and many hope it will set a precedent for other nations.
photo credit: World Bank