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A Roundup Of The First Annual Community-Monitoring Forum For Healthcare Services In Egypt

7 January, 2017
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According to the World Health Organization’s statistics, healthcare in Egypt is ranked 63rd out of 191 countries. It is also ranked below eight countries in the region, including, in order of the highest rank, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait and Tunisia.


In an effort to change this, Eghospitals inaugurated their first annual community-monitoring forum for healthcare services in Egypt on December 27 at the Horizon Shahrazad Hotel in Agouza. The forum took place over three days, ending with a press conference.


The first day gathered a selection of experts on health, corporate social accountability and evaluation, including MP Magdy Morshid, the head of health committee; Dr. Alaa Ghannam, the director of the Right to Health for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR); Ghadie ElHelaly, the advisor for monitoring and evaluation at GIZ and Ayman Shehata, ‏CSR Strategy Manager at PwC.


Dr Magdy Morshid, Dr Alaa Ghannam and Ayman Shehata. / Leena ElDeeb

“It’s the first time for me to see a civil society that changes its surroundings from within, without a certain benefit and without conflict,” said Morshid.


He expressed his great optimism about the young generation, saying that this is the time when the old generation should rest to make way for the younger generations to add their touches and change what needs to be changed.


He also said that the project is in need of government support, which he promised to mediate through the parliament. Ghannam also agreed to that point. “We have a real problem regarding the mutual trust between citizens and the executive bodies. The absence of social accountability mechanism is one of the biggest challenges that the health system faces in Egypt,” he added.


"I believe that as long as this initiative is unbiased it will earn the respect of all parties,” Ghannam advised.


Moreover, ElHelaly warned that if this evaluation and monitoring step doesn’t lead to change it would lose its purpose and, most importantly, the people’s trust. “You have to bear in mind that these people will be expecting change. So I believe that here there is a need for coordination with not only the executive and policy-making bodies, but also other NGOs,” she said.  


Whereas Shehata pointed out that the private sector would never rise with its social accountability and responsibility without a strong, self-governing and aware public.


The second day was about the financial part of the story. It began with a visit from the general director of the health sector’s budget in the Ministry of Finance, Osama Metwally, who presented the obstacles he is faced with.


Osama Metwally discussing the budget matter with attendants. / Leena ElDeeb


There was an exchange of expertise between government and civil society. Ayman Sabae, Eghospitals’ technical support director, suggested that the Ministry of Finance use the portal’s database to adjust the health budget accordingly.


Later, Salma Hussein, a veteran economics journalist and a researcher at EIPR, gave Eghospital’s team a lecture on the budget and how to analyze it to be able to monitor the Ministry of Finance’s work and give suggestions accordingly.


The lecture was full of jargon and mathematical equations, so Hussein engaged her attendants in a game to familiarize them with the terms, readying them for the next phase: analyzing the state’s budget. Guided by Hussein, in front of laptops and notebooks, the local coordinators teamed up to break down Egypt’s budget.



Salma Hussein guides the attendants through the budget analysis session. / Leena ElDeeb


The third and last day was divided into two parts, including one for the portal’s 2017 plan and another for the press conference, where the outcomes of the past year were put on display and the methodology was illustrated before the guests and the press.


The Central Authority for Organization and Administration (CAOA) also attended the press conference and gave a presentation to explain their role in monitoring and evaluation. Near the end of the press conference, the CAOA took Eghospitals by surprise by announcing their eagerness to join forces and support them, a gesture that drew big smiles on the team’s faces.


Eghospitals took advantage of this press conference and gave their MostashfaMeter an official announcement, showing the attendees how it will function and when it will be available in app stores.

Tags Health care budget