Egypt to issue facilitated medical tourism visas soon
CAIRO – 22 March 2018: The ministers of foreign affairs and aviation are working on establishing a mechanism to issue medical tourism visas to foreign patients, for the first time in the country, an official source said.
Ayman Abdel Aziz, secretary general of a newly formed technical committee for medical tourism, under the supervision of the Cabinet, said that 20 hospitals will be ready in April to receive patients from abroad. A guide to the sites offering medical tourism services will be issued, Abdel Aziz added.
The medical tourism program will offer heart, orthopedic, eye and other surgeries in the first phase, for 15 Arab and African countries, Abdel Aziz explained.
Previous Egyptian efforts
Since the launch of the national anti-HCV program in 2014, 1.4 million citizens infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been treated, and 1.5 million more will be fully cured during 2018.
By 2022, Egypt will be HCV-free, announced Yehiya el-Shazly, president of the National Committee for Fighting Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infections, in 2017.
In February 2017, Egypt launched the "Tour and Cure" medical tourism initiative. The initiative offers treatment to HCV infected patients from all over the world, with an effective and advanced treatment program at a lower cost. Argentine football player Lionel Messi launched and promoted the "Tour and Cure" campaign through a visit in February.
Natural Therapy in Egypt
Numerous mineral springs in Egypt constitute a therapeutic tourism attraction. A spring in Wadi Assal (Honey Valley) in Ras Sudr is known among the locals to treat arthritis, and cleanse the skin.
Hammam Moussa, located about three kilometers north of el-Toor City, includes five springs that pour into a pool covered by a large dome. The pool is continually filled with natural, renewable sulfuric water that measures 38° Celsius, and is believed to help cure rheumatism, arthritis, bone and skin diseases, as well as heal wounds.
Hammam Pharaon (Pharaoh’s Bath), located on the international road to Sharm El-Sheikh, is a natural pool of water springing from caves inside a mountain and pouring into the Gulf of Suez. Water in the bath contains a high concentration of sulfur.
Additional reporting by Dunya Hassanin