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Egypt Healthcare

Nearly all Egyptians have access to healthcare. Between 1982 and 1987 (during the first five-year plan), the government established 14 public and central hospitals, 115 rural health units, and 39 rural hospitals. The total number of beds increased by 9,257 during this period (to a total in 1985 of 96,700). In 1987, 190 general and central hospitals were established (26,200 beds), as well as 2,082 rural health units, and 78 village hospitals. In 2000, 95% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 94% had adequate sanitation. As of 2004, there were an estimated 212 physicians, 276 nurses, 27 dentists, and 68 pharmacists per 100,000 people.

Serious diseases in Egypt include schistosomiasis, malaria, hookworm, trachoma, tuberculosis, dysentery, beriberi and typhus. Although malaria and polio cases were small in number, nearly 1,444 measles cases were reported in 1994. In 1999, Egypt vaccinated children up to one year old against tuberculosis; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (94%); polio; and measles (95%). Of children under age five, 4% were malnourished as of 2000.

As of 2000, 56% of reproductive-age women practiced contraception. Abortion is legal only for medical reasons. The overall death rate was estimated at 7.6 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2002 and the infant mortality rate in 2005 was 32.59 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy in 2005 was 71 years.

A full 80% of all Egyptian women undergo female genital mutilation. There are no specific laws against this practice. Egypt planned to expand its health insurance, with the target of covering 75% of the population.

Overall the country's medical facilities are substandard to those of many western countries. There are public and private hospitals of good repute, but foreigners should only receive care in private facilities to guarantee better quality treatment. This is especially true if one doesn't know a hospital's reputation; as the quality from one facility to another ranges quite a bit. Unless familiar with a hospital major operations should be done outside of Egypt, if possible, to guarantee good care. Often the best regional care can be found in Dubai.

Foreigners should make sure to have medical insurance in Egypt for emergency care. Many hospitals will ask for cash directly instead of billing an insurance carrier but patients should ask for all necessary paperwork to recoup any expenses paid out-of-pocket. Some hospitals and hospital groups will offer their own insurance for only their facilities.





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