Analysis of the Health Status in Egypt:
The healthcare sector in Egypt is expected to see an upswing in performance as the government improves access to healthcare and opens up more opportunities for investors. Egypt has one of the largest healthcare markets in the MENA region, with demand buoyed by a rapidly growing population. In real terms, the sector grew 4% in FY 2016/17, accounting for 2% of GDP. Government expenditure on healthcare reached EGP 49 billion in FY 2015/16. Total healthcare investments reached EGP 10.3 billion in FY 2015/16, distributed almost equally across the public and private sectors.
Among the challenges facing Egypt’s healthcare system are aging infrastructure, high prevalence of non-communicable chronic disease and reliance on out-of-pocket expenses.
Egypt has the highest rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV), with a 14% infection rate, making this blood-borne virus one of the leading causes of death in the country. The government has made combating HCV a top priority and has made significant progress in recent years. Since 2015, Egypt has been producing a local version of the HCV treatment Sovaldi under a state-sponsored initiative that has lowered the price of a full course of treatment to around USD 83 from around USD 84,000. The treatment was developed in 2013 by US-based Gilead, which agreed to seel it to the Egyptian government at a more than 90% discount. Egypt is now showcasing its expertise treating the disease via its Tour N’Cure initiative, offering tourism packages that include HCV treatment for about 8% of its cost. Since the government’s initiative was launched in 2016, about 700,000 patients have been treated locally. The N’Cure campaign has made Egypt a potential treatment hub for HCV patients worldwide.