An Egyptian healthcare start-up wants to change the mindset of healthcare in Egypt by offering home examinations by family doctors and pediatricians to patients. The initiative aims to expedite the healthcare process, saving time and supporting easier communication between doctors and patients.
“Usually in Egypt, children, women and the elderly cannot reach the doctors immediately. Congested clinics and hospitals prevent some patients from reaching specialized doctors as quickly as needed,” Dr. Khalil Abdel Khaleq, the founder of Tabibi 24/7, told BECAUSE.
Dr. Abdel Khaleq added: “We see a major community problem when some patients resort to the nearest pharmacies or ask their families for medical advice. This usually does not yield an accurate diagnosis and delays the discovery of illnesses.”
“There were several reasons that made me think about how to improve the healthcare process, especially the communication between patients and doctors in Egypt. There is a remarkable gap in the communication between both sides. You can also notice the lack in personalization and following up with the patient,” he added.
Tabibi 24/7 offers a wide array of innovative services such as vaccinations and lab test services at home, electronic medical records, sports and nutrition programs, including physical and psychological preparation of children and adults in addition to home care for the elderly or patients who have just left the hospital. Tabibi 24/7 can be reached through its hotline and its doctors have access to the majority of Cairo’s main neighborhoods.
The team is comprised of 40 practitioners who receive regular advanced training that keeps them ahead of the game in today’s medicine. Such training has enabled Tabibi 24/7’s doctors to communicate with families throughout the day and disseminate the family doctor culture. Their training is held in cooperation with the UK-based medical institution Primary Care International.
PCI is a well-known institution that offers training programs for various bodies all over the world to ensure sustainability and spread the culture of family medicine and early diagnosis. Family doctors look after their patients’ everyday health needs on a regular and personalized basis. They are made fully aware of the medical history and any inherited diseases in the family. This kind of medicine is believed to greatly help doctors to accurately diagnose the patient’s condition and enables them to directly offer treatment or transfer the patient to a specialized doctor if needed.
“Early check-ups with the family doctor and regularly having the needed tests help doctors discover chronic diseases at early stages. Such diseases can be hard to diagnose due to the ambiguity of symptoms,” said Dr. Abdel Khaleq.
He also advised people to do sports and encourage others to do so as well, pointing out that the Tabibi 24/7 team strives to actively participate in several events that encourage young people to do sports and stay fit. Such events are usually announced on the official Facebook page for Tabibi 24/7.
“Dealing with my father’s case didn’t sound easy to me. He suffered from a lot of illnesses and complications,” said one of Tabibi 24/7’s customers, who requested to not be identified by name.
“Tabibi 24/7’s team stepped up to the challenge and stayed with us when we were in need of support and advice, especially when we had to do some lab tests,” the customer explained. “They kept visiting and calling us at the hospital to make sure everything is alright. After leaving the hospital, my father was actually unable to move from home. They offered all the counseling and support they could afford. They even provided us with an approved stay-at-home nurse. This actually makes a huge difference in a case like ours. It made us feel safe and tranquil that someone is always by our side.”
“Building bonds of trust and credibility between the family doctor and the patient is the main pillar of the doctor-patient relationship,” Dr. Mohamed Alaa, Tabibi 24/7’s family medicine specialist, told BECAUSE.
Dr. Alaa further underlined Tabibi 25/7’s commitment to their mission, reaffirming that, at the end of the day, the service is about the patient’s needs.
“Patients appreciate and understand the importance of this relationship although some cases would need a transfer to a specialist or to stay at a hospital,” he said. “At such times, the patient and his/her parents always feel safe when consulting or dealing with Tabibi 24/7’s team. It just makes sense because a family doctor is someone who is fully aware of all the miniature details of his/her patients, their illness, and their health before and after the illness. This is unlike specialized doctors, who temporarily deal with the patient.”
Photo credit: Tabibi 24/7's Facebook page