Introduction- The history of health insurance in Egypt began with the establishment of the General Health Insurance Organization in 1964. It was then followed by the issuance of several laws created to gradually guarantee the right to health insurance to all citizens. The underlying principle governing all these laws stemmed from the need to balance the efficient provision of services and a comprehensive health care package, with the fair distribution of the financial burden of illness through the establishment of social and health insurance funds and risk-pooling.
Since the mid-1990s, repeated attempts have been made to reform the entire health system, starting with the health insurance system. However, 50 years after its establishment, the health system still suffers from several weaknesses. Most significantly, citizens are not satisfied with the level of services offered or with the efficiency of those who provide them. In addition, there is a shortage in the availability of insurance services in rural areas compared to urban areas. Insurance coverage is limited to no more than 54% of the population.
The issue of health expenditure remains at the heart of the existing challenges. Official studies have found that out-of-pocket spending, from both insured and non-insured citizens, accounts for more than 60% of total health expenditure. In addition, public health care spending remains exceedingly low at less than 5% of the total state expenditures.
Over the last decade, several health insurance bills have been drafted, all essen