Participants of the second preparatory conference for the Egypt Health Tourism (EHT) International Conference held in Cairo on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet
El-Sobky's remarks came during a statement at the second preparatory conference for the Egypt Health Tourism (EHT) International Conference on Wednesday, which was attended by top officials and investors from healthcare organizations across the country.
“The medical tourism market is estimated at over $115 billion annually, with an annual growth rate of more than 12.5 percent, and is expected to reach over $346 billion annually by 2030,” El-Sobky said.
Slated to be held in November in Sharm El-Sheikh, South Sinai, the EHT conference represents an important opportunity to sign strategic partnerships with major international medical insurance companies and medical travel agencies, El-Sobky explained.
He added that the conference is a golden opportunity to promote Egypt's nationally and internationally-accredited hospitals.
"We have 127 registered and accredited healthcare facilities so far," added El-Sobky, highlighting Sharm El-Sheikh International Hospital as the first Egyptian government hospital to obtain international accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI).
Egypt as a medical tourism hub
The chairman also emphasized that with significant political support for the industry, Egypt has all the elements to become the hub for medical tourism in Africa and the Middle East, increasing the country's resources and maximizing economic growth.
He called the conference an ideal platform for alliances between public and private hospitals, the armed forces, and other sectors.
El-Sobky also stressed the pivotal role of medical insurance companies in developing medical tourism to Egypt's high-quality healthcare facilities.
Last year, Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar stated that Egypt ranked fourth regionally and 26th worldwide in the Medical Tourism Index.
“Egypt has highly-qualified doctors, excellent hospitals, and ancient tourist attractions in addition to moderate weather,” Abdel-Ghaffar said.
He added that Egypt only lacks unified treatment costs for medical tourists.
Egypt only ranked behind Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman in the Middle East in the index’s 2020-2021 edition.
Globally, the top five countries for medical tourism were Canada, Singapore, Japan, Spain and the UK.