Illness or injury in Egypt

Please note

Our panel of solicitors are no longer able to assist with compensation claims for accidents abroad.

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The time limit (or limitation date) for making a compensation claim following an accident or illness in Egypt will vary, and holidaymakers are advised to act quickly to ensure they have enough time to pursue a claim.

Circumstances of injury or illness

  • On a flight to or from Egypt, in a hotel, or during an pre-booked excursion or activity, and where the holiday was booked through a UK-based package tour operator - 3 years
  • Injury or illness in Egypt during a trip that was booked privately (not booked through a UK tour operator) - 3 years
  • Injury or illness during a privately-booked flight (not booked through a UK tour operator) to or from:
    • Borg El Arab Airport, Alexandria
    • Hurghada Airport
    • Cairo International Airport, Cairo
    • Luxor Airport, Luxor
    • Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (all flights from UK currently suspended) - 2 years

*Contact a specialist solicitor for more information or calculate how long you have to make a claim here.

Our network of solicitors do not currently have the capacity to take on holiday-related injury and sickness claims outside the UK. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury specialist solicitor to discuss your options as soon as possible, as some jurisdictions have limitation dates of less than the three year limit that is standard in the UK.

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What to do if you have been injured in an accident in Egypt?

Even if you are unsure about making a claim when you return home, there is much you can do (as soon as your health and circumstances allow) to keep your options open and strengthen a potential injury claim.

Read more general information about holiday accident and illness claims here.

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Who to contact in an emergency incident in Egypt

If you are the victim of any crime you must report it to the tourist police immediately. Failure to report crimes before you leave Egypt will make it impossible to seek a prosecution at a later date.

Tourist Police 126
Ambulance 123
Police 122
Fire Service 180

Whether you have returned home from Egypt, are being treated in an Egyptian hospital, or are continuing with your holiday, following these steps can give your claim a better chance of success.
• Seek professional medical attention
• Contact your travel insurance provider
• Report the accident or illness
• Gather evidence
• Gather witness statements
• Contact a solicitor

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Medical treatment following an accident

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not accepted in Egypt, so it is essential to have adequate and comprehensive travel insurance.

The number for emergency medical care is 123. Government-run hospitals may only provide limited nursing care and may have low-quality, unsanitary medical equipment. Public hospitals attached to a university medical school usually have higher quality equipment and a better trained staff. These include Ain Shams University Hospital in Cairo and Alexandria University Hospital.

Hospitals in the Red Sea resorts area include

The Egyptian Hospital
Red Sea Hospital
Port Ghalib Hospital

Anyone staying in a large hotel who requires medical assistance should be able to obtain help from reception, who will arrange transportation to a quality private medical facility, and may also have a staff doctor on hand in the meantime.

Pharmacies are plentiful throughout major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, less so in rural areas. They are well-stocked, offering everything from shampoo to contact lens solution and a number of over the counter medications that require prescriptions in other countries.

Egyptian pharmacists usually have at least limited medical knowledge, and most speak English. Ask for a specific item and the pharmacist will be happy to help you. He will also fill prescriptions.

As a rule, never take anything that does not come in a clearly marked package, and always take care to follow dosage instructions to the letter (even generic packaging usually has English instructions alongside the Arabic

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Egypt package holiday injury claims

Holidaymakers to Egypt who booked their trip through a package tour operator are protected by specific regulations. The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 enable people who have been injured abroad to make a claim against the UK-based holiday company, through the Courts in England and Wales.

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Package tour operators in Egypt

A number of the major UK holiday companies operate package holidays to Egypt, including Thomas Cook, Thomson, Easyjet and Monarch. Popular package tour resorts include Hurghada, Luxor and Sharm el Sheikh.

The injury or illness should be reported to the tour company's representative at the resort in Egypt. If there is no rep available, a report should be made to the operator's UK head office.

Below are listed some of the most popular Egypt resorts and hotels, as promoted by tour operators in 2016:

  • Sol Y Mar Makadi, Hurghada
  • Jaz Aquamarine, Hurghada
  • Sensimar Premier Le Reve Hotel & Spa, Hurghada
  • Pavillon Winter, Luxor
  • Nile Legacy Hotel, Luxor
  • Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel, Luxor
  • Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, Cairo
  • Mena House, Cairo

This information is provided for information purposes only

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Categories of common Egyptian holiday injuries

Holiday food poisoning and water-borne illness in Egypt

Of all the popular tourist destinations for UK holidaymakers, Egypt has been identified as the one with the highest risk of contracting a gastrointestinal upset. According to data from the Health Protection Agency, 82 in every 100,000 visitors were reported as having a laboratory confirmed GI illness - more than 10 times the global average.

Egypt topped the table for Salmonella infections and was 2nd only to India for reported cases of Shigella and Giardia illnesses.

Holidaymakers are also at risk of contracting water borne infections from Cryptosporidium bacteria.

Slips and trips

The tiled floor and terraces of most hotels in Egypt may be a hazard. A small amount of water can make a smooth surface slippery, and falling onto a hard surface can cause bone fractures and joint dislocations. Similarly where tiled floors are broken and uneven, trips and falls may occur.

Adventure holiday accidents in Egypt

Hot air ballooning and snorkelling are two of the most popular activities in Egypt.

However, since 19 people were killed in a hot air balloon accident in Luxor in February 2013, some UK tour operators have stopped selling balloon flights to holidaymakers as they are unable to independently verify safety features. It is wise to speak to the tour company before booking any ballooning trips.

There are many diving and snorkelling operators in the Red Sea resorts. Standards vary considerably between companies and the cheaper operators may not provide adequate safety or insurance standards. Divers may be encouraged to dive more deeply than is advisable and may not be covered by their insurance should they sustain injury by diving beyond a certain depth limit.

On rare occasions shark attacks have been recorded and it is advisable to monitor updates issued by local authorities and tour operators.

It is strongly recommended that before undertaking any adventure activity you should ensure it is covered by your travel insurance.

Any travel insurance, or insurance cover provided by the tour or dive company must also provide adequate cover for the costs involved in any air/sea rescue. The current fee can exceed US$4,000 per hour and the Egyptian authorities will only undertake air/sea rescue operations on receipt of a guarantee of payment.

There have been several serious quad bike accidents involving British nationals in resort areas. Take the same precautions as you would in the UK and note that safety standards can vary considerably. Always wear a crash helmet.

Road traffic accidents in Egypt

Road travel

Poor road conditions, dangerous driving and the lack of traffic law-enforcement are the cause of many accidents. It is estimated that road accident fatalities in Egypt are more than 8 times the number in the UK.

Recommendations for safety include observing the speed limit and avoiding independent road travel outside major cities and resorts at night. It is the law for driver and front seat passengers to wear seatbelts.

It may be wise to avoid travel by bus as there have been a large number of serious bus crashes in recent years, many of which have had high numbers of fatalities - including tourists.

Rail travel

Rail services are often disrupted by the discovery of suspicious devices at railway stations and on the rail network. Although several have been hoaxes or false alarms it is wise to remain vigilant.

A report by the state statistics agency revealed that there were 781 train accidents in Egypt in 2013. The agency blamed the poor state of Egypt's railways for the number of accidents although 55% of these were at manually operated railroad crossings.

River and sea travel

Overcrowding and poor safety standards on Red Sea Ferries and Nile cruisers may lead to accidents. These include on board fires - with 4 significant blazes on Nile cruisers between September 2006 and November 2012.

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Do I need an Egyptian lawyer to make a personal injury claim?

If you have been injured during a non-package holiday, it may still be possible for a UK-based solicitor to pursue your claim through the Courts in England and Wales.

If you believe you may have a claim, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, as non-package travel claims can be complex.

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Useful contact details

British Embassy Cairo

7 Ahmed Ragheb Street
Garden City
Cairo
Egypt
Telephone:+ 2 (02) 2791 6000
Opening times Sunday to Wednesday, 8am to 3:30pm
Thursday, 8am to 2pm
Consular:
Sundays to Thursdays, 10am to 1pm

Consulate General Alexandria

3 Mina Street,
Kafr Abdou
Roushdy
21529 Alexandria
Egypt
Telephone+2 (03) 546 7001/2
Office hours:
Sunday to Wednesday, 08:00 to 15:30
Thursday: 08:00 to 14:00

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Meet our team

The national network of Quittance solicitors handle all types of personal injury claims, from fast track claims to life-changing injuries. Our solicitors are chosen for their track record in winning claims and their level of specialist experience.

Click here to see more of the Quittance team.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Jonathan Speight, Senior litigator

About the author

Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert

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