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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Health Ministry imposes EGP 10k / day price cap on covid-19 treatment at Egypt’s hospitals; no private sector covid tests yet

Health Ministry imposes EGP 10k / day price cap on covid-19 treatment at Egypt’s hospitals; no private-sector covid tests yet: The Health Ministry released yesterday a mandatory pricing scheme for all hospitals, including private-sector operators, treating covid-19 patients, according to a statement carried by El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 4:13). The daily cost of treatment, which is inclusive of all tests, scans, meds, and other fees, have been set as follows:

  • EGP 1.5k-3k per day for lower-level “isolation” services, which are meant for patients with mild symptoms;
  • EGP 5k-7k per day for ICU patients who do not require ventilators;
  • EGP 7.5k-10k per day for ICU patients who need ventilators.

The mandatory pricing scheme comes amid claims some providers had allegedly been “overcharging” patients for services, and follows an increasing number of calls from MPs to regulate pricing at private hospitals. The Health Ministry recently allowed the private sector to begin treating covid-19 cases, after having initially limited treatment to one facility in Matrouh. There are currently 367 state facilities — including university hospitals — authorized to treat covid patients.

Will the government allow private labs to provide covid-19 testing under government supervision soon? Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told Adib that the government has sufficiently expanded the network of state-owned labs providing covid-19 testing, particularly outside central governorates such as Cairo (watch, runtime: 5:35). Megahed did not rule out a scenario in which the government could allow the private sector to also begin offering these tests, but said that health officials continue to take new decisions as the situation develops on the ground.

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