SRS Newsletter
March 2011
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Regional Update: An update from Egypt, a SRS member's perspective

Mohammed Mosaad, MD
Global Affairs Advisory Board Member

In Egypt, medical services are divided into four types of hospitals: governmental, university, insurance type of hospitals, and private hospitals. In government hospitals, services are completely free and all cases can be treated including spinal cases, mostly trauma cases, tumors and some deformity cases, especially AIS. In the university hospitals, such as Cairo University, Ein Shames, Alexandria, Zagazig, Assuit, and Tanta University, all cases of spinal problems are treated. For instance, trauma cases, complicated deformity (including anterior and posterior surgeries), a large numbers of AIS, degenerative deformities, as well as other types of pediatric problems. The arrangement here is based on the number of surgeons and number of beds in the hospital. All instruments and implants are bought by the administrations of the universities. On the other hand, the insurance type of hospitals also treat all types of spinal problems, especially trauma and AIS in pediatric insurance hospitals, but in these hospitals, the patients must pay a portion of the cost according to their contract with the hospital. Furthermore, in private hospitals, all types of surgeries are done in which the patients are required to pay for everything including the bed, treatment, services, and implants, and so expensive implants are used. In conclusion, the development of spine surgery around the world has influenced spine surgery service in Egypt. Very complicated spine surgeries can be done in Egyptian hospitals and many patients can benefit from what Egyptian surgeons have learned from meetings like SRS, NASS and ISSLS.

Academic meetings are regularly held in Egypt and these are two recent examples:

The 6th International Association for the Study & Application of the Methods of Ilizarov (ASAMI) Conference was held on June 16-19, 2010 at the Mena House Oberoi Hotel in Cairo, Egypt. It was also the eve of the 90th anniversary of method creator, Russian academician, G.A. Ilizarov and 60th anniversary of the method. These great events will be celebrated in 2011. The conference was well attended with over 1,000 delegates from 47 different countries participating in over 68 sessions. There were more than 230 lectures with 41 guest speakers from around the world. The scientific program consisted of numerous papers on the Ilizarov method including limb reconstruction, as well as a symposium about the recent advances in the biology of bone reconstruction. Two lectures highlighted external fixation as a method to correct spinal deformity, one from Ilizarov Institute and the other from Texas by John Birch. It is great that many Egyptian orthopedists and other surgeons from around the world study the method of Russian orthopaedic surgeon Ilizarov and came together to share and learn the latest techniques.

The Egyptian Orthopaedic Association (EOA) 62nd Annual International Congress was held December 6-9, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Cairo, Egypt. The congress was well attended with more than 2,500 Egyptian and Arab surgeons with guest speakers from different countries that presented over 55 lectures on different topics inf orthopaedic surgery. There were about 78 sessions, nine symposia, and more than 100 work shops held beside the scientific sessions with more than 120 technical companies represented. Three sessions highlighted spinal problems in trauma and AIS, and two lectures discussed degenerative spinal problems and tumor care. Through their meetings, the EOA continues to provide great opportunities to experience the finest in orthopedic education, research and technology.