This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
The healthcare sector in Egypt is large compared to its neighbors in the Middle East. Egypt offers a variety of opportunities, as the Egyptian government is keen on expanding the healthcare industry, especially relating to medical devices.
The Egyptian healthcare sector is currently facing challenges in handling the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. As a result, the Government of Egypt has approved the increase of its healthcare budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal period. The demand for increased services and medical supplies has been a significant challenge during the pandemic. Egypt’s has increased its public investment in 2021 by 205% to enable the strengthening of the healthcare system during the pandemic. The Egyptian government also launched a new initiative called the Decent Life presidential initiative, which entitles all citizens to have medical insurance. These investments aim to provide the necessary funds to enter service hospitals and to accelerate the rates of implementation of health facilities under construction and development to quickly enter service and start to benefit citizens.
The Egyptian government intends to complete 23 new hospitals, of which 77% are completed, as well as launch the initiative of the National Project for Self-Sufficiency in Plasma Derivatives, which aims to establish 20 plasma collection centers and a central strategic store.
The government also plans to support Egyptian families during FY2021/2022, by improving population characteristics, controlling population growth, and working to raise the efficiency of 125 integrated hospitals.
Moreover, the government aims to operate 200 sewing workshops attached to Al-Takamol hospitals, providing, and making available family planning methods, operating 20 family development centers, and finance 350,000 micro-projects while automating family planning services and linking databases together.
Another mega project currently in the pipeline is the new Medical City in the New Administrative Capital. The GOE has allocated the land to establish a Medical City that would include high-end healthcare providers and to establish a medical and nursing school. The aim is to provide comprehensive and high-level services to Egyptians who normally seek treatment abroad and to attract patients from the GCC area.
Technical medical equipment, such as radiography and ultrasound apparatus, vital statistic monitors, dialysis machines and laboratory microscopes are imported and distributed by a handful of companies who benefit from low import tariffs, the biggest of which being El Gomhoureya, which is wholly owned by the government.
Private healthcare providers often choose to import the equipment they need, which, according to the country’s customs laws, must be brand new to be allowed into the country. This can be a complicated process, yet Egyptian physicians who travel abroad for conferences often acquire devices in this manner.
As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and the resultant healthcare crisis, the Egyptian government has pledged to improve its regulation of the healthcare sector. As a result, there has been a boost in the purchase of medical devices by the private sector. Similarly, there is a proliferation of privately-owned hospitals and clinics, which has steeply raised the demand for medical and lab equipment and medical personnel. Although there have been some improvement in the registration process, bureaucratic red tape remains a business impediment and the tendering process is not transparent.
Best sales prospects in medical equipment and supplies include, but are not limited, to the following categories:
- Diagnostic imaging equipment
- Oncology and radiology equipment
- Medical disposable supplies
- Surgical and medical equipment
- ICU monitoring equipment
- Laboratory and scientific equipment
- Mobile clinics
- Digital equipment
The government prefers investing in preventative medicine, which offers opportunities in medical devices. According to the World Bank, less than 5 percent of Egypt’s total investments are allocated toward health services. Considering the strong demand, the medical device sector is ripe for substantial growth in the short to the mid-term.
In line with the country’s efforts to upgrade its overall healthcare system, it is expected that there will be opportunities in the long-term in the following services:
- Medical devices and lab equipment
- Construction, management, and rehabilitation of hospitals and rural healthcare facilities
- Emergency care (ambulatory) services
- Training programs for physicians, nurses, and lab technicians
- Establishment of biological and laboratory centers
- Development of quality standards for hospitals, laboratories, and healthcare institutions
- Capacity building and consultancy services for regulatory and accreditation bodies
- Training programs including on FDA-drug classification for government officials.
- U.S. Commercial Service in Egypt
- U.S. Embassy
- World Bank
- American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt
- Egyptian Government Web Portal (https://www.egypt.gov.eg/english)
- Ministry of Health & Population
Contact for the Commercial Specialist in charge of the Healthcare Sector: Mrs. Rania Mekhail