BMI View: Egypt's public healthcare system has traditionally targeted the country's urban population, leaving those on low incomes in remote areas with a slim chance of obtaining basic healthcare services and medicines. Ongoing political instability and no sign of visible improvement to the existing system in the medium terms means more healthcare initiatives by non-profit organisations to improve remote populations' access to medicines is likely in the medium to long term.
The international medical organisation, Doctors Without Borders, has opened a new healthcare clinic for women and children in Abu Elian, a rural settlement in the Marg district, Egypt. Due to the high cost of hospital care and poor transport infrastructure in remote areas, many women choose to give birth at home instead of hospitals. In response to this, Doctors Without Borders has placed a special emphasis on safe motherhood and child delivery through a local awareness campaign, including a focus on the necessity of regular health checks during the prenatal and postpartum stages. Additionally, to combat the dangers of home deliveries, the clinic will offer a 24-hour emergency referral system for deliveries, which will relieve the financial burden on expecting mothers.
BMI views the involvement of a medical charity in improving the country's access to healthcare as a strong sign of Egypt's deteriorating public healthcare system. With our view that political instability will continue in the medium term, BMI expects more initiatives of this nature (bringing rural civilians in contact with hospital services) to develop. This will result in an increase in the demand for medicines and medical instruments used in gynaecology, providing revenue-earning opportunities for medical device companies and drugmakers specialising in women's health.
Large concentrations of populations on low incomes are located in Egypt's rural areas. As mentioned, financial restrictions and poor geographic positioning means that these residents suffer from a severe lack of hospitals and access to medicines. BMI estimates that Egypt's rural population amounts to 56.7% of the total population; one of the highest in the North African region, with the 5.3% pensionable population also likely to reside in the remote regions of the country. As such, this community represents a large pot of unmet medical need that is being relatively neglected by the government in its attempts to increase healthcare provision and improve the public healthcare system by focusing on urbanised communities.
|Largest Proportion Of Rural Citizens|
|The Rural Population As A % Of The Total Population In A Selection Of North African Countries|
Egypt's Healthcare System
Egypt's state healthcare system has traditionally suffered from underfunding, poor management, obsolete equipment and increasing pressures on account of population growth (which is about 2% per annum). In the long term, BMI expects healthcare expenditure to be driven largely by those with private insurance plans and out-of-pocket spending, representing approximately 66% of total expenditure. This is due to the likelihood of ongoing political instability hindering increases to government healthcare provision. BMI forecasts government healthcare spending to increase from EGP22.21bn (US$3.74bn) in 2011 to EGP46.86bn (US$8.22bn) at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2%, while private spending is projected to increase from EGP40.58 (US$6.83bn) in 2011 to EGP81.35bn (US$14.27bn) in 2021, equating to a CAGR of 7.7%.
|Political Instability Will Continue To Hinder Public Healthcare Spending|
|Public And Private Healthcare Spending (EGPbn)|