The city is home to over 30 hospitals with good reputations. Hospitals and clinics are either state run or privately owned. Medical facilities in the large cities, like Cairo, Alexandria, and Sharm El Sheikh, are considered to be adequate for routine problems. However, emergency services may require air transport out of the country to more state-of-the-art facilities.
Government hospitals are open to tourists, although the quality of care in public hospitals is lower than in private and foreign clinics. Government hospitals can only provide limited nursing care and may be only basically equipped. The doctors are similarly overworked and underpaid. University hospitals have the reputations for staff and equipment.
Many mosques also provide medical services. They do not receive funding from the Egyptian government, and their accessibility and quality vary from community to community.
A comprehensive list of hospitals can be found at http://www.hospitalsworldwide.com/countries/egypt.php.
Pharmacies (saydeleya) can be easily located anywhere in the city. They are well-stocked from basic goods like shampoo to over-the-counter medications. Medications are usually lower priced in Egypt than the Western world. However, brand-name cough, cold and flu medicines are more expensive. Lower prices may indicate lower standards. Egyptian pharmacies are occasionally flooded with generic drugs of questionable quality. Never take anything that does not come in a clearly marked package, and always take care to follow dosage instructions. If you're unsure of a medication, ask an Egyptian friend or co-worker.
Egyptian pharmacists are knowledgeable about basics and can speak English. Simply explain your condition or ask for a specific item and the pharmacist will be happy to help you. If you have a prescription from a hospital or medical clinic, hand the pharmacist the slip and he will procure it for you.
Seif Pharmacy is a popular drugstore with locations throughout the city. If they don't have what you need, they can tell you which store has it and have it delivered if you want.
With so much to deal with before leaving your home country, (taxes, moving house, paperwork etc.) the careful planning of your expatriation to Cairo is an essential step. As far as healthcare is concerned, your local social security scheme won’t be accompanying you to your host country and, once abroad, you might be surprised by the care system you find in Egypt. So, before leaving, make sure you have appropriate cover!
EasyExpat.com works in partnership with APRIL International to provide specific insurance solutions for travelling or staying outside your country of nationality.
Designed for either short or long stays, APRIL International’s insurance policies offer protection against any problems that might arise before departure or during your time in Egypt: cancelling your trip, medical expenses following an illness or accident, needing to be repatriated, causing damage to a third party or losing your luggage.
For more information on expat health insurance in Egypt, visit our partner APRIL International