Egypt has begun opening 24-Hour Pharmacy outlets in Cairo and the southern city of Cairo, with the aim of providing a convenient and affordable alternative to the costly and lengthy process of visiting a specialist doctor.
The pharmacies, which are expected to open in April, are being managed by the Egyptian Medical Association (EMSA) and the Egyptian Red Crescent Society.
The 24- Hour Pharmacy stores will be located in the following locations: 1) The Cairo Health Complex (Museam Al-Khalifa) at Taba Street, between al-Qassim Street and al-Dhahran Street; 2) Al-Qasr Hospital in the north of Cairo; 3) Al Azhar University Medical Center (Al-Azhar University Hospital) in the south of Cairo.
The pharmacies will also offer 24- hour medical check-ups and urgent care services.
Health Minister Mahmoud al-Sayed said the new pharmacies are aimed at providing a cost-effective and convenient option for people in Egypt who cannot visit a specialist physician, and to address the increasing number of patients who have to travel to Cairo for treatment.
Al-Sada, who was appointed health minister on June 4, said that pharmacies will be able to serve up to 5,000 patients a day.
“The new pharmacies will have an area of 1,500 square meters, and they will have the same number of doctors as the existing pharmacies, according to the health minister,” Sada said.
According to Sada, the pharmacies will open with a price of 500 Egyptian pounds ($8.70) per day for the first patient, 500 Egyptian dollars ($6.60) for the second, and 500 Egyptian dirhams ($2.20) for every additional patient.
However, the cost of the pharmacy will increase to 600 Egyptian pounds per day once the initial supply of medicines reaches 50% of the patients who are eligible for treatment, according the ministry.
Medical staff are to be trained in the use of the 24-h pharmacies, Sada added.
According to an EMSA statement, the new outlets will allow Egyptians to access medical care during any hour of the day or night, as long as the 24 hours period does not overlap with the working day.
The pharmacy is expected to be operational by the end of next year, the statement said.