Egypt’s General Intelligence Services (GIS) promised three convoys of subsidized food and medical supplies would be sent to Minya and Assiut, amid rising prices for goods and medicines nationwide.
Price rises in medication and basic goods, such as cooking oil and rice, have been linked to the country’s foreign exchange crisis.
The GIS announced that they have already provided treatment for 2,534 citizens, as well as distributing 20 packets of rice, 100kg of sugar, 30 cartons of cooking oil, and margarine, spaghetti, meat, cheese, sauce and fish at 25 percent off their market rates.
The convoys were coordinated by the Health Minister, in partnership with the governorate of Assiut, as part of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s plan to provide free medical services to citizens, the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported.
The Health Ministry said a number of medical specialists in different fields would be accompanying the convoy, with a particular focus on providing treatment to women, children and the elderly.
The convoy announcement follows a number of other free health care initiatives led by the Interior Ministry and the Doctors Syndicate.
Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar announced on March 14 that the Interior Ministry would provide free medical care to citizens in police hospitals every Friday.
These government-led campaigns were announced shortly after an initiative by the Doctors Syndicate, dubbed “Free Health Care is Your Right,” which was launched at the end of February and aims to champion free 24-hour emergency services, and free non-emergency services between 8 am and 2 pm in public hospitals.
The Doctors Syndicate has been supporting partial strikes and protests by physicians nationwide, who have been pushing for, among other demands, better safety for medical staff following the assault of two doctors in Matareya by police officers after they refused to falsify medical records, and the resignation of the health minister.