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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Healthcare regs could be out by week’s end, Lamees and Amr call for middle-class protection

A number of topics kept our nation’s talking heads busy last night, including the regs for the Universal Healthcare Act, the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, and efforts to block the game known as “blue whale” from Egypt’s internet.

The Ismail Cabinet is expected to sign off on the executive regulations to the Universal Healthcare Act by week’s end, Health Minister Ahmed Rady told Lamees. The minister had said last week the Cabinet would complete its review of the regs in two weeks’ time. Rady told Lamees that the healthcare scheme will have covered the Suez Canal governorates and both parts of the Sinai in 2-2.5 years (watch, runtime: 10:00). Adib, who seemed very impressed with the new system (watch, runtime: 1:00), also spoke to Rady about the ministry’s efforts to promote medical tourism (watch, runtime: 29: 32).

Social protection measures for the middle-class were the order of the day, as both Lamees Al Hadidi and hubby Amr Adib used the IMF / World Bank spring meetings as an opportunity to repeat IMF boss Christine Lagarde’s concerns on the erosion of the middle-class. On Hona Al Asema, Lamees said the government should unveil its new social protection plan before announcing any fuel subsidy cuts (watch, runtime: 4:21); while on Kol Youm, Adib urged the government to double the amount allocated to the Takaful and Karama programs (watch, runtime: 3:47).

Blue Whale ‘suicide game’ in spotlight: Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to block access to websites that host the “blue whale” game, which has recently been linked to a number of suicide cases in Egypt and abroad. IT expert Mostafa Abu Gamra said that efforts to block the game would be futile since it is not limited to a specific software or platform. (watch here, runtime: 4:32 and here, runtime: 3:24). Nevertheless, the NTRA said it would take all the steps necessary to block the game, Al Mal reports.

Meanwhile, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr spoke to some people about social housing projects. We’ll spare you the details (watch here, runtime: 1:58 and here, runtime: 2:34).

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