Illness Is Not A Commodity. Stop Turning Public Hospitals into Health Boutiques
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Illness Is Not A Commodity. Stop Turning Public Hospitals into Health Boutiques

 

The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights , a member of the  Committee To Defend The Right To Health filed a lawsuit to challenge the decision of the minister of health #428/2010 regarding the hospital and educational institutes regulation. ECESR filed  the lawsuit on behalf of Abdel Moneim Mohamed Ebeid, Mona Mina, Karima elHefnawy against the president, the PM and the minister of health.

ECESR stated in their challenge that the new regulation is a corner stone of a plan to privatize health care in Egypt and turning it from a right that the state has to provide to all Egyptians irrespective of their financial abilities to a luxurious commodity for the rich only. The new regulation proposes paying medical care fees in all public hospitals and health institutes , putting an end to free health care service in Egypt . The regulation justifies abolishing free health care service by setting some rules that topple the right to free health care service provided by the Egyptian constitution and international conventions.

ECESR stated that the rates set in the regulations are liable to a 10%  annual increase as of July 2011.

The regulation also deprives Egyptians from  state covered treatment and bind the patient  to pay 75% of cost of treatment  prior to checking into the hospital. As well the patient has to settle their account every other day.

The regulation allows for pricing the health care service according to the financial status of the patient . This means that the same service will have more than one price according to the financial status of the patient not according to the nature of the service.

The regulation allows the doctors within the hospital and out of it to rent clinics of public hospitals for their own cases. As well , operation theatres and rooms can be rented to operate on outside patients , thereby turning  the public hospitals assets into rentable booths or boutiques.

The challenge document revealed that the revenue  will not pour into the public treasury but will go to the service development funds which are not under the control of the Central Audit Authority . The revenue will be under the control of hospital administration and will be deposited in a personal commercial bank account.

ECESR also revealed that enjoying free medical service is only offered to the patient who proves financial disability either by having a social pension or by having a recommendation from the social research committee of the hospital.

The regulation sets 60% of the beds for non free medical service , thereby outweighing the commercial  aspect  over the social  humanitarian aspect. This will reflect on the management strategy and staff attitude and will to serve patients eligible to free medical services compared with rich patients.

ECESR concluded their challenge by that the regulation considers the right to health care as a social luxury and not a human need that the state’s duty is to provide irrespective of the financial status of the patients. The state has to provide sufficient and distinguished medical services in all public medical institutes particularly public hospitals and educational institutes.

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