Learn About the Healthcare System & Medical Insurance Options for Expats in Egypt
Despite factors such as political unrest and episodes of violence, visitors and expats continue to move to Egypt in large numbers. Recent years have seen a return of some stability, though. However, concerns about poverty, the rising cost of living, and unemployment exist. But the country continues to embrace expats from all walks of life, who have made Egypt their second home. Here’s what you have to know about the Egypt healthcare system and medical insurance options for expats.
A significant cause of concern is the quality of healthcare in Egypt. It varies widely across regions and areas. The government of Egypt has done little to improve the overall access to quality healthcare services for its citizens and expats. The public medical facilities in the country are not of high standards as compared to Western countries. Naturally, this makes the expats avoid public hospitals and opt for private care instead. They can buy global health insurance that can cover most of the charges incurred by seeking private treatment in Egypt.
More details about the situation of healthcare in Egypt are available at CDC.
Overview of Healthcare in Egypt
The healthcare system in Egypt comprises the public and private sectors. Public healthcare institutions are not up to the standards of their international counterparts. Inadequate infrastructure and scarcity of medical professionals continue to be the disadvantages of this beautiful country. Differences between the availability of healthcare services in major urban and rural areas are quite evident. Meanwhile, the government continues to reform the public healthcare system.
Despite the public healthcare services being free of charge for Egyptians, they tend to opt for private healthcare facilities. It is due to the long waiting queues, outdated medical equipment, and poor hygiene in the public sector. On the contrary, private healthcare services in Egypt maintain a high standard. The medical professionals have the proper training for treating expats, global citizens, and digital nomads. Additionally, expats usually opt for comprehensive medical insurance that also provides coverage during an emergency evacuation.
How the Egyptian Healthcare System Works for Expats
Apart from the mummies and pyramids, Egypt boasts of a culturally-rich and complex history. If you are planning to visit or live in the country, opt for an international health insurance policy that can help cover medical costs during a medical emergency. Due to the discrepancies in the quality of healthcare, most expats avoid public hospitals and opt for private healthcare. Many expats in Egypt prefer to have significant operations and surgeries performed in other countries that offer quality healthcare.
Public Healthcare in Egypt
The Egyptian government is trying hard to reform the public healthcare system. Also, the healthcare system is not at par with the western standard. Residents, citizens, and expats prefer to opt for treatment in private hospitals instead of visiting public medical institutions. Poor sanitation levels, inadequate equipment, and trained staff, and long waiting time are significant drawbacks.
Private Healthcare in Egypt
Private medical professionals speak English well. Plus, the doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners are well-trained in administering medicines and treatments. They are also accustomed to treating expats and other foreign nationals. Healthcare facilities are of a high standard. In addition to choosing private healthcare, expats even opt for international health insurance that covers evacuation to a different country when required. It helps them access advanced and specialized medical care outside of Egypt too.
Emergency Medical Services in Egypt
The general emergency number to call an ambulance is 123. It is a direct number and is the fastest way to get emergency medical treatment. The services are not too reliable in major cities like Cairo due to traffic conditions. It is common to witness ambulances with blaring sirens trapped in traffic. On the contrary, rural areas hardly have access to ambulance services. Expats should ideally choose to take a cab to a hospital, which is, any day, a better option.
Medicines and Pharmacies in Egypt
Many pharmacies operate for 24 hours across the country. A lot of pharmacies also provide home delivery. However, global citizens and expats must note that international brands of medications may not always be available in these pharmacies.
Best Private International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats in Egypt
Many international companies offer private expat health insurance plans at competitive rates. Access to public and private healthcare can be supplemented with a comprehensive international health insurance cover that provides medical evacuation and airlifting coverage overseas. You can check the plans of leading international insurance groups like Cigna Global and Allianz International. They are recognized by most of the healthcare institutions in Egypt.