By Bellah Zulu, ACNS
The Anglican Church in Egypt has continued to invest heavily in the health care sector to provide primary and preventative services to meet the country’s family, women, occupational and emergency health services.
The Church runs the Harpur Memorial Hospitals found in Egyptian cities of Menouf and Sadat, both of which are reputed for outstanding care and for seeking to show the “love of God through the services provided”.
“These doctors are very professional and I completely trust their treatment,” said one patient from a small village near Sadat City. “All of the staff have loyalty in their work, show respect to patients and are kind. They have high morals, and this is how medicine should be.”
Sadat City is an industrial city situated 90 kilometres north-west of Cairo off the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. The city has a population of over 300,000 which is expected to grow to over a million within the next ten years.
The hospital also serves patients from villages in the surrounding areas. In addition to the outpatient clinics, current in-patient facilities include five rooms with fifteen beds, major and minor operating rooms and an X-ray unit among others.
“I started working here after I attended a Christian medical conference. In my heart, I wanted to serve in a hospital which showed care for patients and showed God’s love for them,” said Dr Amani William, a full-time paediatric doctor who has worked at the hospital since its inception.
“Patients always tell me that this hospital is different than other hospitals as the doctors really care for the patients. Many also comment on our honesty as we do not take bribes or take extra money from patients,” she said.
Each week doctors from both Harpur Memorial Hospitals conduct medical outreach programmes to local villages using a mobile medical clinic. In 2012 alone, more than 1000 people were examined during 17 medical outreaches. Patients who need further treatment are often referred to either of the hospitals to be attended to at a discounted price.
The Harpur Memorial Hospital in Sadat City was opened in December 2010 and it has successfully served the community for over two years. The number of patients has increased dramatically and in 2012 the hospital served over 27,000 patients through its outpatient clinics.
Earlier this year the surgical department and the inpatient services opened after the hospital received permission from the Ministry of Health to start surgical operations and open the inpatient services. It passed the inspections and has since received an official operating license.
The Harpur Memorial Hospital in Sadat was established in 1994 after the diocese there was approached by local leaders with a request to set up a hospital, which could provide similar services as Harpur Memorial Hospital in Menouf but with a key focus on primary, preventative and emergency health care.
Despite its many accomplishments, the hospital still has a lot of challenges. The medical gas system supply system pipes gas from the basement to the inpatient areas, and while fully operational the system was installed at costs exceeding the expected expenditure, hence the dioceses’ prayer for additional funds to cover remaining costs.
Another challenge remains that of recurrent power outages. Without back-up facilities such as electric generators, it is difficult for the hospital to have crucial hospital facilities such as an intensive care unit, operating room and incubator.
With its primary focus on occupational health care and emergency and first aid services to treat serious accidents and injuries in the local area, the hospital continues to seek for partners interested in advancing the “love of God through the provision of health services”.