Egypt comes in as number 12 among 22 MENA countries. Breaking down this ranking, quality of health services pulls up, general health conditions pulls down. Egypt has the 4th highest doctor density, and largely a hospital infrastructure that fits.
Health services of fair quality are free and accessible to all citizens. The best health care institutions are found the cities. A comprehensive and clearly better, private health system does exist, and is preferred by those parts of society that can afford it.
The best sections of Egyptian health care are considered very good. Training of physicians as well, Egyptian universities receives many students from other Arab and African countries.
The government system combines larger hospitals in larger towns with health centres and health units. Health centres are defined to serve 150,000, units 5,000.
Reforms to Egypt's health system has been realized through several 5-year plans. The present plan involves the completion by 2010 of 50 new state hospitals, financed both locally and by foreign private interests.
Health conditions and diseases
Improved health services, has resulted in strong improvements in life expectancy over recent decades. Today, Egypt has a life expectancy of almost 72 years.
Bilharzia is a disease that afflicts about half of the Egyptian population, and this is a result of poor sanitation, polluted water, inadequate nutrition and lack of public health information. Other major diseases are schistosomiasis; hookworm; trachoma, tuberculosis, dysentery, beriberi and typhus. Malaria and polio are diseases close to extermination. Children below 1 year are vaccinated against tuberculosis; diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus; polio; and measles.
Undernourishment remains a challenge, but numbers have gone down to 4% of children under age 5 in 2000.
In 2000, 56% of women used practiced contraception.
Abortion is allowed only in cases of medical complications.
80% of Egyptian girls suffer female genital mutilation.
HIV and AIDS are not major health risks in Egypt. UNICEF suggest roughly that up to 13,000 individuals have one or the other, corresponding to 0.16% of the total population. Other estimates are far lower, 1,155 and 5,300.
Figures of 2006 from WHO show that 98% have good access to clean water but only 66% access to good sanitation. Access to sanitation is 52% in the countryside, 85% in towns.