What if one were to get seriously ill in Cairo?

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Sep 6th, 2005, 10:09 PM
  #1
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What if one were to get seriously ill in Cairo?

I would like to travel to Cairo with my 77 year old mother in December and am concerned if she were to get seriously ill or even myself, how would we be looked after? Does anyone know? I wouldnt want to go to an Egyptian hospital.
aussiemozzie is offline  
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Sep 7th, 2005, 01:55 AM
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Hello,

I have always carried travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage, including medevac (evacuation by helicopter or plane). There are two types of medevac -- one which takes you to the nearest first-world facility (probably somewhere in Europe or the Gulf States) and another which takes you home. Personally, I would take the Gulf States over some of the poorer European countries (Spain springs to mind).

I believe there are some private hospitals in Cairo which are of a very high standard. If you needed emergency care and could not wait for medevac, or needed your mother to be stabilised before she could be airlifted out, those would be your best bet.

Contact your embassy and find out where they normally send their personnel when they need medical treatment. They probably also have a list of English-speaking doctors who can be consulted if a problem develops and advise you as to whether going into hospital is necessary.

Cheers,
Julian
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Sep 7th, 2005, 03:59 AM
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From your screen name, I am assuming you are from Australia. I know nothing about health insurance in your country, but in US most people over age 65 are covered by some form of Medicare which does not provide coverage outside of US.

So first, I would make sure her health insurance covers her outside of her own country. Then, as jasher suggested, buy travel insurance that includes evacuation insurance in event of serious illness or injury.

That said, if unfortunately either of you requires hospital care, you would likely have to spend some time in a Cairo hospital. I would be more concerned about immediate care available in other cities (Luxor, Aswan, etc.) than Cairo.

When traveling to Egypt several years ago with our 2 kids, I was concerned about just these health care issues (being an RN). I brought some broad-spectrum antibiotics, various over-the-counter medications, etc. All were used by someone in our group, including my daughter who scratched her cornea and used the antibiotic eye ointment. More useful were anti-diarrhea medications and the like - all are available in Cairo pharmacies, but I was unsure about Arabic-US equivalents so I brought my own. I am sure that all this was unnecessarily paranoid, but it didn't take up much space in the luggage.

So I think you can prepare for minor events, and buy insurance to cover really major events. The middle ground I see no alternative to using Cairo hospitals.
gail is offline  
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Sep 7th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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You also could arrange to be transported to a hospital in Israel if you can't spend a long time in a plane; Sha'are Zedek and Hadassah in Jerusalem are world class and everyone speaks English.
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Sep 7th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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There was a poet hear some time back about someone who broke their leg...or was it an ankle (?) and spent time at a private hospital in Cairo. As I remember it they reported wonderful attentive medical service.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
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Sep 7th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Are you going to be staying in a hotel? It should be able to help you. If you have a certified guide in Cairo, I'm sure he can help. Also you can call your embassy for assistance.

I have a Cairo Guide aimed at ex-pats published by the AUC Press which discusses emergency care & sez the best ER is the closet one due to the bad traffic.

It further sez that most ambos do not carry EMT personnel or life saving apparatus (aparatus?) on board, so you should catch a taxi to take you to an ER rather than wait for an ambulance. As-Salam & Nile Badrawi Hospitals in Maadi, which are recommended by the book, do send out ER physicians with their ambos. You will probably have to pay upfront.

Cairo doctors seem to have training which is the equivalent to that of the US, including residencies/internships in the Western World. It sez that there are some problems with sterilization & cleanliness with nursing care, so you should insist that hands are washed before they touch you, new/clean hypodermics, etc.

I'm reporting what I found in the book, so I have no personal knowledge of this.
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Sep 8th, 2005, 01:29 AM
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Several years ago I got violently sick and needed medical attention. The American Embassy was a joke. But, I was transported to the Hilton and saw their Doctor. 2 days later went to Isreal and saw a MD there. I was told the Egyptian MD did exactly what any other MD should have done.
What got me going is at that time I met a local Doctor and he was earning approximately $320/mo. As long as it isn't anything really unusual, I feel comfortable now because of that experience. Now adays I take a fairly comprehensive med kit when going to 3rd world countries.
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