Legislative complexities stand as one of the major hurdles for Egypt’s healthcare sector, investors and industry players revealed in a third webinar hosted on July 19 by the British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA), Invest-Gate reports.

Moderated by Former Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, the online event was attended by multiple industry-related executives, including Cleopatra Hospitals Group CEO Ahmed Ezzeldine, CIO of Samcrete Investments Holding Sameh Gabra, EFG Hermes’ Private Equity Managing Director Samer Yassa, and HSBC’s Sector Head for Healthcare in MENAT Michal Perliceusz, according to a recent press release. 

On his part, Bahaa-Eldin pointed to how difficult the current legislative framework makes it for private investors, who are not part of the medical field, which casts down potential stakeholders at a time when the sector needs to be attractive.

“It seems crucial to look into more ways to develop and fortify the healthcare sector against pandemics and such threats,” the official was quoted as saying, emphasizing on the importance of finalizing the four main laws related to the health industry, including the medical establishment law, pharmaceutical law, medical profession law, and the universal health insurance law so as to “address the persisting need to develop the sector for receiving a harsh hit by Coronavirus.”

Further, Ezzeldine agreed with the latter expert on the value of developing a system of laws for healthcare investment to limit dispersion, fragmentation, and lack of interconnection/coordination between institutions. He also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted investment priorities, including a move toward providing medical services virtually. 

The CEO highlighted, “Investments are piling in to better handle and organize big data, and otherwise provide complementary services and infrastructure.”

But Perliceusz affirmed that the effect of Coronavirus is rather a shocking one on the healthcare sector that has shown unprecedented defensive mechanisms towards the situation, underling that “Egypt is still in a good position when compared to other countries regionally as the government has dealt with the situation with great professionalism.”

“Egypt also stands out in the region as a promising market for investors that are looking into opportunities in the healthcare systems’ development,” HSBC’s sector head further stated.

On the sidelines, participants called on the state to promote the integration of companies in the healthcare sector, therefore opening the door to wider sector-specific investments, suggesting that the second wave of the germ episode could also be less infectious.

“There is a fear of the emergence of conglomerates in the health sector,” according to Gabra, who stressed on the distribution of roles between private and public players for a middle way, especially as the number of beds in private hospitals is inadequate compared to the cumulative total nationwide.