Egypt to use cigarette taxes to fund universal health care – Al-Bawaba


$180 million in revenue is expected to come from cigarette taxes alone in a new bid to modernize Egypt’s hospitals. (Shutterstock)

The Egyptian government is planning to introduce new healthcare legislation, Deputy Finance Minister Mohamed Moeit told Al Borsa yesterday, and income from taxes on cigarettes is expected to cover nearly 30 percent of the cost.

Supposedly, the new Universal Health Insurance Act would require the government to upgrade and modernize over 500 hospitals, and the Finance Ministry will allocate some $563 million to the Health Insurance Authority. The funding will come partly from taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and nightclubs, Enterprise wrote this morning, in addition to 1 percent taken from workers’ salaries, and 3 percent of employee salaries paid by employers.

$180 million is expected to come solely from taxes on cigarettes. The new law will be presented to the House of Representatives in October, when it comes back into session.

By Sallie Pisch

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