Egypt targets to expand on therapeutic tourism in 2018

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The Egyptian Cabinet has approved creating a Supreme Committee for Medical Tourism on December 20, 2017 with a mission to choose hospitals and human resources to put into place a mechanism to carry out a development plan to expand on medical tourism services in Egypt starting 2018.

The Egyptian Cabinet has approved creating a Supreme Committee for Medical Tourism on December 20, 2017 with a mission to choose hospitals and human resources to put into place a mechanism to carry out a development plan to expand on medical tourism services in Egypt starting 2018.

In October 2017 France 24 published a report stating that Egypt (as a country with a highest rate of hepatitis C globally) has developed an expertise in treating it. Now it is looking to share its know-how, as well as locally produced low-cost drugs, with foreigners having trouble getting treatment at home. The report added that Egypt launched a programme to help the estimated 71 million people afflicted with the disease worldwide. In May 2016, the country launched the Tour ‘n’ Cure programme, which has been promoted by football celebrities Lionel Messi and Dani Alves. For €5,900 or $8,000, European patients can spend a week in Egypt and tour the country at the same time they receive treatment for the virus.  According to Mostafa El Sayed the director of the programme this amount includes everything; flights, five-star accommodation, medical analysis, and drugs. “It also includes three days of tourism,” he added. Visitors can choose to spend their sightseeing days in Cairo, Luxor, or Sharm el-Sheikh.

In an unexpected statement by the Egyptian minster of health published by the Egyptian newspaper Youm 7 at the first meeting of the supreme committee for Medical Tourism he said “we owe reactivating the file of therapeutic tourism to the Administrative Control (an Egyptian authority assigned to fight administrative and financial corruption) as it was managed wrongfully, hence, did not achieve targeted objectives.” The minister added that there is demand for therapy in Egypt from countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Historically, the Egyptian western desert has been a destination for environmental treatment.  Siwa Oasis natural hot springs have been believed capable of curing psoriasis, rheumatism and some digestive system diseases. Research made by D. F. Amara for Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport concluded that the majority of Siwa’s visitors in addition to the participating experts perceived Siwa as a natural asset that need to be preserved. He added that the absence of site planning and management techniques is considered an obstacle to develop tourism in areas with fragile ecosystem such as the case of Siwa. Furthermore, the study stressed the need of the private sector role in initiating ecological development, and opening up viable business opportunities for Siwan local community, and therefore enhancing their skills and knowledge. The study revealed the importance of the local community efforts in contributing to the preservation of Siwa’s natural and cultural resources and in upgrading themselves coping with their lives’ dependency on tourism.

The Western Desert is not the only destination of environmental therapy. Egypt is home to several unique sulphurous and mineral springs: in addition to the miraculously healing ability of the black sand found in the city of Safga. Safaga has been an important location for patients with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis; it is said that the high mountains in Safaga act as a shield against wind and sand storms and therefore the dry clean particles-free air reflects the sunrays that are somehow essential for the treatment of psoriasis. Sinai also has several important locations for health tourism, two of which are Oyun Moussa and Hammam Pharoan. The sulphuric properties of Sinai had drawn the attention of early French explorers since it has the highest known level of sulphuric water in the world. Hammam Pharoan, a group of hot springs, is a very important location for the management of rheumatoid patients. Furthermore, a cave on top of the springs is used as a hot bath with well-known therapeutic benefits for rheumatism.  In Aswan, dry weather makes it a great place for “sand baths” where people bathe in the sand to cure chronic rheumatic disease and rheumatism. The dry weather in Aswan is also thought to be useful in treating bronchial asthma.  Many hotels and physiotherapy centres in Aswan are present cations, where natural treatments for many diseases are available such as Helwan, Ain Assera, Ain Sokhna, Hurghada, Fayoum, Oasis, Aswan, Sinai and Safaga on the Red Sea. The estimated number of springs all over Egypt reached 1356 including five in Helwan, three in Ain Assera, 36 in Fayoum, four in Rayan Valley, 33 in Sinai, 315 in Baharia Oasis, and 106 in Siwa in addition to a large number that reached 564 in Dakhla Oasis, 188 in Kharga, 75 in Farafra and the rest are spread out in the Gulf of Suez, of Qattara, Natroun Valley and Gara.  It is worth mentioning that the government started the first therapeutic tourism resort in Egypt in New Cairo City in 2016 with Kuwaiti investments.

1 COMMENT

  1. Greetings!!

    I’m Beaula Watson, Program Director of the International Congress on Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing which is scheduled during June 17-18, 2019 at Rome, Italy

    We are organizing this global event for two days. The two days educational program will include keynote presentations, oral presentations, and poster presenters on the advanced techniques as well as papers in all the fields of nursing in health care.
    Share among your network expertise, doctors, medical, healthcare and nursing professionals and invite them for this grant event.

    We would like to a Travel delegation with your organization for which only your constant support is needed. By this support we can be mutually benefited and new clients from all over the world.

    If any of these related people have contacted you for this tourism, then please suggest to them our conference and provide my email address.

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