Healthy travel

Reem Leila , Tuesday 5 Mar 2024

Egypt’s medical tourism is promising, reports Reem Leila on the findings of a recent conference

Healthy travel


Discussing how to improve healthcare for both citizens and foreigners coming to Egypt, a two-day international conference on medical tourism was held on 2 March under the slogan “Echoes of the Past Renewed Today” in the New Administrative Capital.

The conference discussed topics related to medical tourism, focusing on the capabilities of Egyptian healthcare institutions, the role of the private sector and civil society in medical tourism, global medical tourism, opportunities, trends and innovations, and the necessary components for developing medical tourism as a destination. It also addressed the role of the General Authority for Healthcare Accreditation and Regulation (GAHAR) in revitalising the medical tourism industry in Egypt and the latest trends in the industry worldwide.

The global medical tourism market is estimated at over $15 billion annually, growing at a rate exceeding 12.5 per cent, and is expected to reach over $346 billion by 2030, Ahmed Al-Sobki, president of GAHAR, said during the conference.

According to Al-Sobki, who is also the general supervisor of Comprehensive Health Insurance and the Decent Life projects at the Ministry of Health and Population, GAHAR owns internationally accredited green healthcare facilities in key tourist and coastal governorates in Port Said, Luxor, Ismailia, South Sinai, Aswan, and Suez. This is in addition to winning numerous Arab and international awards in digital health and healthcare sustainability.

Al-Sobki said that more than 6,000 patients from 23 foreign, Arab, and African countries have been coming to Egypt to receive healthcare and treatment in 127 accredited hospitals through the “We Care for You in Egypt” programme initiated in November 2021.

“The strength of our healthcare infrastructure and the provision of the latest medical and technological equipment, along with the enhancement of healthcare quality and our competitive prices, as well as our contracts with more than 20 medical insurance companies, have reinforced the international medical community’s confidence in our healthcare capabilities,” said Al-Sobki, pointing out Egypt’s branding of medical tourism through the programme.

Advisor to President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi for health and prevention affairs Awad Tageddin confirmed that the authority has the capabilities, medical personnel and the best internationally accredited green healthcare institutions to put Egypt on the map of global medical tourism.

During the conference, four cooperation protocols between the Healthcare Authority, international medical insurance companies and medical travel agencies were signed.

Tageddin added that efforts are underway to create electronic platforms and portals in multiple foreign languages to deal with foreign patients seeking treatment and to promote medical tourism. The most important of these are the Integrated Treatment Services Electronic Portal, Facebook pages for hospitals, and a mobile application still in the making.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 7 March, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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