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The Egyptian healthcare system consists of two sectors: public and private. In general, the public healthcare system is of a low standard due to a lack of funding and poor staffing levels. Government investment in the public healthcare system is low, at just 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP. There are significant differences between the availability of health services in the basic institutions in rural areas and those found in a big city like Cairo. Most specialist procedures are carried out in the capital.
Although public healthcare has been subject to the government’s attempts at reform, the system is of a poor quality and certainly not on par with anything that a Western expat would be accustomed too. Even though it is provided free of charge to locals and potentially to expats, many Egyptians avoid public hospitals due to factors such as outdated equipment, long queues for treatment, inadequate staff training and poor sanitation levels.
Private healthcare facilities in Egypt are of a high standard, with medical staff used to treating foreign nationals. Expats can also opt for insurance options that cover evacuation to a different country, with even more advanced and specialised medical care. Communicating in English won’t be an issue, as medical staff, doctors and nurses are generally bilingual.
Pharmacies are widely available throughout Egypt. Larger chains, such as El Ezaby, even operate 24-hour services while the majority of pharmacies also provide home delivery, which can be arranged over the phone. International brands of medications are not always available in Egypt so expats should do some research into local equivalents before relocating.
Expats often need some time to adjust to searing temperatures in Egypt. It is therefore vital they stay well hydrated. Poor sanitation is also a risk and it is best to avoid tap water and opt to drink bottle water instead.
Egypt is said to have the highest hepatitis C rate in the world, as well as very serious tuberculosis and rabies threats. For those travellers who have respiratory issues, the dense air pollution caused by traffic congestions and industrial sites can be very problematic.
Routine vaccinations are recommended, including ones for hepatitis A, typhoid, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, varicella, polio and influenza.
Expats should dial 123 in case of emergencies. Heavy traffic as well as congested medical facilities can mean it may be difficult for emergency services to arrive speedily.
International Healthcare Solutions For Private Individuals
Healthcare plans designed specifically for expatriates and local nationals living in Egypt.