Timeline of healthcare in Egypt

This is a timeline of healthcare in Egypt, focusing on modern healthcare system. Major events such as policies and organizations are included.

Big picture

PeriodKey developments
<323 BCAncient Egypt is considered to be the first civilization to develop what today we call a healthcare system. Ancient Egyptians document their research and knowledge. Documented ancient Egyptian medical literature is among the oldest in existence today.[1]
323 BC – 30 BCPtolemaic Kingdom. The Alexandria University is famous for medicine. Herophilus and Erasistratus are permitted to dissect living criminals. The practices of Egyptian medicine are studied by scholars from ancient Greece and are acknowledged by Hippocrates.[2]
30 BC–641Christian Egypt. During the Byzantine period, medicine is often impotent at remedying maladies, thus simple ailments have the potential to progress into fatalities. The cause of many illnesses is unknown, and they are sometimes attributed to the effects of the evil eye or to spells.[3]
641–1517Medieval Egypt. Medicine and disease in medieval Islam is approached through theoretical medical treatises. Also, Jewish physicians – in both Alexandria and Cairo – are a highlight of this period, mainly between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, with Maimonides being one of the most renowned.[4]
1517–1914Early modern Egypt. Great advance is made after the brief French Occupation. After seizure of power by Muhammad Ali Pasha, Egypt enters a period of modernization along European lines. Modern secular education becomes the norm in the state expansionist program, especially in the medical school. France is seen as a model for development, and the French language becomes dominant in Academia and other public affairs.[5]
1914–presentDevelopment of the current structure of the health care system in Egypt during British occupation. Consummated after independence with the creation of the Egyptian Health Insurance Organization in 1964 under the administration of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who adopts socialist economic policies.[6]

Full timeline

Year/periodType of eventEventLocation
2700 BCDevelopmentThe earliest ever record of a physician is Hesy-Ra, "Chief of Dentists and Doctors" to King Dioser.[1]
2400 BCDevelopmentThe first female doctor in Ancient Egypt is probably Peseshet, known as the supervisor of all female doctors.[1]
1700 BCDevelopmentEarliest evidence of diagnostic medicine in Egypt.[2]
642BackgroundMuslim conquest of Egypt.[7]
872OrganizationAhmad ibn Tulun Hospital is founded. The hospital provides free care for anyone who needs it, a policy based on the Muslim tradition of caring for all who are sick.[8]
1517BackgroundEgypt is absorbed into the Ottoman empire.[7]
1827OrganizationKasr El Aini Hospital (the first Egyptian medical school) is founded.[9]Abu Zaabal
1805BackgroundOttoman Albanian commander Muhammad Ali comes to power in Egypt and rules until 1952, although nominally part of the Ottoman Empire.[7]
1836PolicyFrench physician Antoine Clot is appointed head of the medical administration of Egypt. Clot establishes a hospital and schools for all branches of medical instruction in Egypt, as well as for the study of the French language.[5]
1837PolicyThe Egyptian government reorganization, under the rule of Muhammad Ali determines to extend medical provisions like vaccination, public sanitation, hospitals, and clinics to the masses.[5]
1839DevelopmentAfter the first generation of Egyptian doctors arrive from Paris with their doctorates in hand, all courses in medicine start to be conducted in Arabic.[5]
1882BackgroundGreat Britain occupies Egypt.[7]
1909PolicyThe earliest legislation pertaining to occupational health in Egypt is launched. It concerns the employment of children in cotton ginning factories. A number of Acts including sections dealing with health and welfare of factory workers follows.[10]
1911OrganizationNGO Egyptian Red Crescent Society is founded, with main activities being providing health and medical services to those in need.[11]
1914BackgroundEgypt formally becomes a British protectorate.[7]
1922Political changeFuad I of Egypt becomes King and Egypt gains independence, although British influence remains significant until mid-1950s.[7]
1947OrganizationAin Shams University Faculty of Medicine is founded.[12]Cairo
1950OrganizationHassab Hospital is founded.[13]Alexandria
1952PolicyFoundation of the Republic of Egypt. The new constitution pronounces free medical care as a basic right for all Egyptians.[14]
1954OrganizationCARE International starts its operations in the poorest regions of Egypt.[15]
1955PolicyNew law regulates use of herbal medicine in Egypt in the forms of prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, self-medication and dietary supplements.[16]
1959PolicyThe first comprehensive "Labor Law" is adopted, by which employment of workers, employment conditions and agencies competent with occupational safety and health as well as penalty clauses are covered.[10]
1964Policy/OrganizationThe Health Insurance Organization (HIO) is established as a compulsory social insurance agency with the intention of eventually covering the whole Egyptian population. HIO imposes mandatory payroll contributions on all formal sector workers and their employers, and public pensioners. From 1965 to 1995, the number of beneficiaries increase from 140,000 to 5,851,549 (9.7% of the national population).[17]
1964OrganizationCurative Care Organisation (CCO) is created following the nationalization of several private hospitals. CCO provides health care services to the public for a nominal charge.[18]
1969OrganizationNational Cancer Institute Egypt is founded.[19]Cairo
1975PolicyPresidential Decree defines the mission and objectives of the Minister of Health providing that the Ministry’s main mission is to protect the health of all Egyptian citizens through preventive and curative services at a centralized level.[6]
1975OrganizationThe General Organisation for Teaching Hospitals and Institutes is founded. This organization currently regulates the nine teaching hospitals and nine medical institutes in Egypt.[18]
1977OrganizationTheodor Bilharz Research Institute is founded.[20]Giza
1983OrganizationShabrawishy Hospital Blood Bank is established.[21]Cairo
1985OrganizationNile Badrawi Hospital is founded.[22]Cairo
1992OrganizationThe Egyptian AIDS Society is established as an NGO in order to support national and international efforts to stop newly AIDS infections in Egypt.[23]
1993PolicyThe Student Medical Insurance Program (SMIP) is introduced by the HIO. SMIP is financed by a mix of individual premiums paid by enrolled students, a special ear-marked cigarette tax, and a contribution from general revenues per child.[17]
1993PolicyHealth insurance is expanded to cover 10 million schoolchildren.[24]
1996ReportEgypt is reported to have the highest body mass index in the world at 26.3.[25]
1997PolicyThe government of Egypt launches the Health Sector Reform Program (HSRP) in order to address persistent needs in maternal and child health. The HSRP is introduced in a first phase in the pilot governorates of Alexandria, Menoufia and Sohag (1998-2004).[26]
1999OrganizationDar Al Fouad Hospital is founded.[27]Giza
1999PolicyThe Family Health Fund (FHF) is established according to ministerial decree. FHF is responsible for providing insurance coverage to beneficiaries through contracting and purchasing primary health care services from Family Health Units or Family Health Centers that are owned by the public sector.[14]
1999OrganizationThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the first donor to begin field-level operations in Egypt.[14]
1999OrganizationInternational Eye Hospital Cairo is founded.[28]Cairo
2000OrganizationThe Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (ESU) is established by ministerial decree with the purpose of identifying disease patterns and detecting changes in healthcare practice in Egypt.[14]
2001–2002ReportThe Health Insurance Organization reaches coverage at around 45% of the total Egyptian population, and accounts for 10% of the total health spending, representing the second largest health financing organization after the Ministry of Finance.[14]
2003PolicyNew law stipulates that the employer takes all necessary measures to ensure safety and health at the workplace. It also requires the medical examination of the worker before employment.[10]
2003OrganizationThe African Development Bank (ADB) initiates its work through designing Master Plans for some health districts in Egypt.[14]
2003ReportSurvey by UNICEF says that 97 percent of married women in Egypt have undergone genital mutilation.[29]
2004–2005PolicyThe Health Sector Reform Program (HSRP) is extended to Qena and Suez.[26]
2006ReportStudy by the WHO indicates that air pollution, especially in Cairo and Alexandria, is a major source of chronic respiratory diseases in Egypt.[16]
2006AchievementEgypt is declared free of poliomyelitis.[30]
2007OrganizationChildren Cancer Hospital 57357 is founded.[31]Cairo
2007PolicyEgypt bans female circumcision.[29]
2008OrganizationIn response to Hepatitis C epidemic, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population launches a campaign with two major elements: education, where hospital staff is taught about infection control; and requirement for every hospital to have an infection control committee with clear authority to monitor the situation of the hospital.[32]
2010CrisisStudy estimates that more than half a million people in Egypt are newly infected by hepatitis C each year. While globally, roughly 1 person in 50 is infected with the virus, in Egypt, study finds a ratio at about one person in seven.[32]
2014ReportAround half of Egypt’s total population is served by the country’s public health care system, according to government and World Bank data. Around 72% of all health care costs are paid for out-of-pocket by patients and their families.[33]
2014PolicyA new constitution is approved by popular referendum, replacing the nation’s previous 2012 constitution. Article 18 of the new document guarantees the right to health and access to quality health care, in addition to mandating that the government allocate a minimum of 3% of GDP to health care expenditure.[33]
2016OrganizationThe first digital hospital in Egypt, a branch of the Children’s Cancer Hospital, is founded.[34]
2016ReportLife expectancy in Egypt is estimated at 73.94 years, being ranked 127th out of 228 political subdivisions.[35]

See also


  1. "What Is Ancient Egyptian Medicine?". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  2. "Comparison Between Egyptian and Medieval Medicine". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  3. "Popular Religion: Magical Uses of Imagery in Byzantine Art". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  4. Efraim Lev (2013). "Mediators between Theoretical and Practical Medieval Knowledge: Medical Notebooks from the Cairo Genizah and their Significance". Med Hist. 57: 487–515. doi:10.1017/mdh.2013.56. PMC 3865955. PMID 24069914.
  5. Abugideiri, Hibba. Gender and the Making of Modern Medicine in Colonial Egypt. p. 29.
  6. "Egypt: Legal Responses to Health Emergencies". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  7. "Egypt profile - Timeline". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  8. Olivia Sterns. "Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  9. "Kasr El Aini Hospital". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  10. Gehad A. Abo El Ata, Michele Nahmias. "Occupational Safety and Heal thin EGYPT" (PDF). Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  11. "Egyptian Red Crescent Society". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  12. "Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  13. "Hassab Hospital". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  14. "Health system profile of Egypt" (PDF). Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  15. "About CARE International in Egypt". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  16. "developing countries: Egypt, China, India, and South Africa" (PDF). Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  17. Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya, Claudia Blanco-Vidal, A. K. Nandakumar. "The Distribution of Health Care Resources in Egypt: Implications for Equity" (PDF). Retrieved 20 July 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. "Background of Health Care in Egypt" (PDF). Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  19. "National Cancer Institute Egypt". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  20. "Theodor Bilharz Research Institute". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  21. "Shabrawishy Hospital Blood Bank". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  22. Gericke, Christian A. "Nile Badrawi Hospital". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  23. "NGO Arab states". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  24. "Financing health care in Egypt" (PDF). Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  25. Martorell, R (2000). Obesity in Women from Developing Countries.
  26. "Attempts of healthcare system reform in Egypt". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  27. "Dar Al Fouad". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  28. "Al O'youn Al Dawli". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  29. "Egypt bans female circumcision". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  30. "global Health". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  31. "57357 Hospital". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  32. "Global health: A uniquely Egyptian epidemic". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  33. "New government policy in Egypt to recalibrate health care system". Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  34. "Digital healthcare: CCHE creates Egypt's first digital hospital". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  35. "The World: Life Expectancy (2016)". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
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