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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Health Ministry could impose price controls on private hospitals based on their service quality

The Health Ministry is mulling the imposition of price controls on private hospitals: The Health Ministry has apparently finished reviewing a bill that, if enacted, would give it new authority to impose price controls on private-sector hospitals and clinics, according to Health Minister Ahmed Rady. He told Al Masry Al Youm that the bill, which would expand the ministry’s role beyond issuing licenses, would end the practice of private-sector facilities setting prices “unilaterally and randomly.” The price caps would be based on a ministry-imposed “tiering” of healthcare facilities: The proposal would divide hospitals into five brackets based on criteria including efficiency of the medical and nursing staff, quality of medical services, nature of the services required, and the amenities offered. Physicians’ fees at private clinics — which make up about 95% of clinics across the country — would be capped at EGP 100 a visit for general practitioners, EGP 200 for specialists, EGP 400 for consultants, and EGP 600 for consultants who are university faculty members. Rady said that the legislation is especially important since the private sector makes up the bulk of the medical industry in Egypt with over 3,000 private hospitals compared to only 700 public ones.

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