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Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Covid-19 treatment prices at Egypt’s private hospitals lead the nation’s airwaves

The price of covid-19 treatment provided by private hospitals led the conversation on the airwaves last night after Health Minister Hala Zayed met yesterday with representatives from the country’s major private healthcare providers and head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ private healthcare providers division, Alaa Abdel Meguid.

The Health Ministry has agreed to raise by 20% the prices laid out in the mandatory pricing scheme it had released last week for private hospitals treating covid-19 patients, after the private sector voiced its that the scheme was untenable, Abdel Meguid told Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 16:36). Rep. Magdy Morshed, a member of the House Health Committee, suggested to Lamees that the country doesn’t need to rely on private healthcare providers at all, and that state-owned hospitals alone can absorb covid-19 patients that require hospital care (watch, runtime: 3:18).

The private sector will cut operating costs as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of their services to help make ends meet under the ministry’s pricing scheme, Abdel Meguid told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 2:32).

Anecdotes from patients’ families: Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, meanwhile, spoke with a few people who relayed their personal experiences with private healthcare providers over the past several days, including one who said a family member was charged prices above those laid out in the ministry’s mandatory pricing scheme after he was unable to find an available bed at state-owned hospitals (watch, runtime: 5:06). Another caller alleged that a Sheikh Zayed hospital refused to admit a covid-19 case and overcharged the patient on a PCR test (watch, runtime: 5:41).

Elsewhere, Lamees discussed the expected resumption of GERD negotiations today with Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies advisor Hani Raslan, who said that Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Khartoum could reach a final agreement in as little as two weeks if Ethiopia is serious about seeing eye-to-eye with its downstream neighbors (watch, runtime: 8:17).

Also on the airwaves:

  • A covid-19 vaccine produced by Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca could arrive to Egypt as early as September if ongoing clinical trials wrap up in time, presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tageldin said on the airwaves on Sunday (watch, runtime: 5:28)
  • Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik also gave Lamees a breakdown of the Public Enterprises Act that the House of Representatives approved on Sunday (watch, runtime: 1:53). We had the story in yesterday’s issue.
  • An apparent shortage of cigarettes in the country had the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ tobacco division head calling on the Consumer Protection Agency to investigate alleged hoarding from retailers to drive up prices (watch, runtime 2:16)

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