Egypt country overview

Egypt Government

Egypt information index

Egypt welfare and health

The Ministry of Health’s budget has seen an increase in spending on public-health programs, particularly since the 1990s. There has been a significant rise in the number of government health centers, beds in public hospitals, doctors, and dentists. Expanding facilities in rural areas has always been a crucial aspect of healthcare development in Egypt. In the mid-20th century, rural communities primarily relied on local facilities that served as health centers, schools, social-welfare units, and agricultural extension stations. However, by the early 21st century, numerous hospitals and smaller health units were established to cater to rural communities. Unfortunately, the quality of these facilities often fell short, leading many rural residents to seek treatment at Islamic health care centers, which were generally superior to government-run facilities.

Cities and larger towns have a plentiful supply of well-trained physicians and specialists. The medical profession holds prestige, and only highly qualified high school graduates are accepted into medical schools.

Considerable efforts have been made to promote preventive medicine. Vaccination against smallpox, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and poliomyelitis is mandatory for all infants within their first two years. Schistosomiasis, a widespread parasitic disease among the rural population, poses a significant health concern. Although all health centers provide treatment for it, reinfection can easily occur. Malaria epidemics have been eradicated, but the disease still persists in endemic form, primarily in southern Egypt. Treatment for malaria is available at all health centers, and regular house spraying is conducted in mosquito-breeding areas. Attention has also been given to tuberculosis, with centers established in every governorate and mass X-ray and immunization campaigns carried out.

The government has pursued the socialization of medicine through measures such as nationalizing and regulating pharmaceutical industries, taking control of hospitals operated by private organizations and associations, and expanding health insurance. However, since the 1970s, private hospitals and clinics have surpassed state-run facilities in terms of quality. A health insurance law, enacted in 1964, mandates health coverage for workers in firms employing more than 100 individuals, as well as for all government and public employees. Lower-income Egyptians often seek medical care at clinics or hospitals operated by Islamic groups.

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