Cairo - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Haven't had much need for medical care beyond what Post can provide. You get evacuated for most if not all serious issues. - Mar 2023

Use the filtered water to drink and cook with, but the tap water is fine for showering, brushing your teeth, etc. MED will recommend medevac for serious health concerns. - Aug 2022

Quality of medical care is a concern for my family. I've had to go to the doctor at an Egyptian hospital once and it was an odd experience. BUT the doctor the embassy recommended did speak English and I spoke with a U.S. physician after the fact who said they followed all the same protocols that would have been done in the U.S., even if the hospital felt a bit dodgy. The Medical Unit in the Embassy is huge and is always the first stop - there are multiple doctors and nurses on staff, and they've answered my calls at all hours. For my child, I'm very pleased as there is an American-Egyptian pediatrician in our neighborhood who did his residency in the United States and makes house calls! That's been a fantastic benefit. But all the doctors say if there is a real medical emergency, the immediate response is medevac. - Aug 2022

The pollution during the winter months will exacerbate any respiratory conditions. Routine medical care is decent and inexpensive on the local market, although medical professionals have been overwhelmed with COVID-19. There are private hospitals and clinicians recommended for emergencies, and the care has been good, although I know many people prefer to MedEvac. - Mar 2022

The hospitals are not the best. Payment is required upfront before they will give you service. Pregnant women medevac to the States or Europe. The med unit in the embassy is awesome with a great staff. Getting xrays and meds are cheap. Several embassy people got lasic eye surgery and it was great. Dental work is also really cheap and done well. A friend of mind got several cosmetic surgeries done and they all went well. - Dec 2021

The health unit at the embassy is very good and you can always call them for questions at any time or for routine exams or suggestions for local clinics to go to. They will help you get prescriptions, etc. - Feb 2021

I haven't had any real medical care needs here, but I have had an elective procedure and dental work done. It hasn't been an issue, but a major surgery or accident would definitely have me looking for a medivac. - Nov 2020

Not great care available locally. Minor stuff shouldn't be an issue, but anything major you'll probably be evac'd for. - Jan 2020

Almost all complex medical conditions require medevac including broken bones, but the Embassy Health Unit typically doesn't approve it unless there is literally a bone poking out of your skin. - Jun 2018

Medical care is fine. The pharmacies can give you many medicines that require prescriptions at home without a prescription. The Embassy health clinic provides all basic care. There aren't really major health issues here, except some respiratory things from bad air in the winter. The medical evacuation destination is London. - Jan 2018

I had good experiences with dental care in Egypt. There is a very good dentist in Zamalek that many embassy staff use. Many people were medically evacuated for anything complicated. - Sep 2017

The air quality is very poor; even with air purifiers at home, people had a lot of respiratory problems. While there are hospitals that are OK for emergency treatment, I would prefer to be evacuated for any kind of surgery or complex medical procedure. - May 2017

Medical care is nothing like the UK but good care can be found. Make sure you have insurance.

Extreme heat can be a problem.

Hygiene standards are not the same as the west but again this is improving. Any restaurant frequented by foreigners will be fine.

Always drink filtered or bottled water and ensure it's sealed. I do clean my teeth in the water but I don't drink it. - May 2017

Local medical care is dreadful. Even common specialists like obstetricians or orthopedists are well below US or European standards. The hospitals are dirty and the staff there are poorly trained. I would consider this to be a major drawback of this post. - Jan 2016

Hepatitis is abundant among Egyptians, lots of stray animals, do get a rabies shot. Local medicine is OK, but for anything serious you would want to think carefully about care in Europe or the US - Jan 2016

Not really. We have just had to use the Embassy clinic which has met all of our basic needs. - Oct 2014

We have the Embassy doctor for routine care and check-ups. We've used a dentist and eye doctor with general satisfaction, but not on par with what we enjoy in the States. - Aug 2014

Local medical care is pretty good and the International Hospital has modern state of the art equipment. nursing care is different than in the U.S. - Aug 2014

We haven't had issues. Not great. - May 2014

Air pollution is the most serious health concern. Quality of local medical care is low but I've never had to deal with anything serious. - Apr 2014

There is a med unit at the embassy and in Maadi with American doctors, but for routine stuff I would never see an egyptian doctor for anything -- and never allow them to give me so much as an X-ray. I've heard way too many horror stories. I heard someone say this before I got to Egypt, and I thought they were paranoid. But since being here and seeing for myself, I would recommend getting Medivac'd for anything the embassy can't handle. - Jul 2013

Medical care at the embassy is good (a good team of docs there), but if it's something serious you are taking a major risk at Egyptian hospitals -- which don't believe, for example, in medical recordkeeping. - Jul 2013

The embassy medical staff is great, but if it's anything serious you had better get on a plane. Hospitals here are where people go to die. - Jun 2013

The air is of concern. Medical care is quite good (and there is also a medical unit in the Embassy), although people tend to be medivaced for anything serious. Dental care is good, but expensive. - Jun 2013

Not too many, but be careful where you eat. Wash hands often. The embassy has a good health unit. - May 2013

I would never walk into an Egyptian Hospital. Medical evacuation is to London. - May 2013

My hubby has been hospitalized twice with serious problems, and both times worked out fine. Local doctors and technicians are very good. The nursing and cleaning staff, less so, but survivable. The Embassy has great doctors and nurses. - May 2013

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has a large medical staff, and there are clinics in both Maadi and at the embassy. Beyond that, the physicians in Egypt are not necessarily bad, but the paraprofessional medical providers are lacking (e..g, nurses, etc.) As such, for basic care, Egypt may be fine, but for any significant care (and any type of surgery), it would be better to receive care outside Egypt. Pharmacies are plentiful, and medications are readily available, so that is not an issue. Most health concerns are those you might find anywhere in the developed world (and developing too, in some cases): stomach viruses, respiratory problems, etc. - Feb 2013

I wouldn't have any medical procedure done here that required anything beyond the capability of the mission medical unit. Hepatitis is a problem, as is sanitation overall. - Feb 2013

Smog, polution, teargas, stray rabid animals, trash, urine, dead animals, E-coli just to name a few. Don't forget the sand, dust, and dirt, it is everywhere and makes it hard to breathe...The embassy has a wonderful clinic and there is one at USAID. - Mar 2013

London is the medevac point. Bring your own home first-aid kit, complete with medicine, especially for the kids. - Mar 2013

The recent outbreak of polio is a concern. The quality of medical care is poor, but it is expensive. Dental care costs more here than in Washington, DC. Just like everything else, if you don't speak Arabic you will get gouged. - Feb 2013

Everyone in the Embassy has had upper respiratory problems-- Cairo-cough --that lasts for months. It's just such a dirty city. - Jan 2013

Unknown as of yet, thankfully. We do have a medical clinic from the Embassy in Maadi and at the Embassy in Garden City most days of the work week. There are reliable doctors in the area...and dentists, too. - Nov 2012

Many doctors there, but of varying clinical knowledge and ability. Can buy most meds you need over the counter, at low prices. - Sep 2011

Medical care is good. Ambulances, not so much. If you need to get to a hospital in a hurry, get someone to drive you or take a cab. - Aug 2011

Doctors and equipment can be excellent. Medical support staff are less so. Make sure you have someone with you if you are going to the hospital or if you think you will be unable to speak for yourself because of anesthesia or other reason. The best hospital in Maadi is Al Salam, and they have a "patient advocate" that you can ask for if you are unsure of what they are telling you. Be watchful of hand-washing and clean gloves. Also, be careful if you get manicures/pedicures, that the equipment is clean. Hepatitus C is prevalent here. You can get doctor recommendations from the consular office at the US embassy, but your best bet is to ask your friends. - Jul 2011

Their are decent medical facilities. Check with community first good hospitals. Very good Embassy Med Unit. - Jun 2011

We had our first baby in Cairo, and the quality of care that my wife and baby recived was probably much better than most places in the U.S. - Sep 2010

The air is horrible and is unbreathable somedays. 2 of my 3 children have developed asthma since we arrived. - Jun 2010

The main health concern is the unhealthy air quality. Also, a lot of people get stomach bugs. The embassy health unit is excellent, and there are a couple of hospitals here that provide decent care. But for anything other than minor outpatient surgery, go to Europe or the US. - Dec 2009

Hospitals in general are just ok. I would not choose to go into a hospital here, but I would feel comfortable with receiving emergency treatment at Dar El Fouad hospital and then going to Europe or the U.S. for follow-up care. - May 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More