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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Draft of Universal Healthcare Act regs with Cabinet

LEGISLATION WATCH- A draft of the executive regulations of the Universal Healthcare Act has been completed and sent to the Ismail Cabinet for review, Health Minister Ahmed Rady said on Tuesday, according to Al Shorouk. Cabinet is expected to complete its review of the regs in two weeks’ time and will follow that up with announcement of the three new regulators who will manage the new healthcare system, said Rady.

Background on the three new healthcare regulators: The Social Health Insurance Authority will be charged with funding the new healthcare system and is set to be an independent body under the supervision of cabinet. The Healthcare Authority will be in charge of managing healthcare services provided by the system will be managed by the Health Ministry. A third authority will ensure quality control at hospitals providing services under the act, said Rady, though he does not specify which government body would run it.

This comes as Prime Minister Sherif Ismail formed a committee on Monday to draw up criteria for those who will be exempt from premiums paid into the new healthcare system. The committee will be run by the Finance Ministry, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Under the law, the state will pay the equivalent of 5% of the standard minimum wage to cover healthcare for each person who cannot afford to pay a premium. The new system will launch in Port Said in July.

In other legislative news, the House of Representatives is expected to receive proposed amendments to the Customs Act within the next few weeks, Customs Authority chief Magdy Abdel Aziz said yesterday, Al Ahram reports. The Council of State completed its review of the bill earlier this month and sent it back to the Ismail Cabinet, which gave its sign off back in February. The amended Customs Act is expected to cut tariffs on capital goods to 2% from a current 5% and expand temporary exemptions on imports of raw material and packaging equipment. The law also includes provisions that aim to trade outside of state control and clamp down on customs evasion.

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