Coming from a background in pediatrics, CEO and Founder of Tabibi 24/7 Khalil Abdel Khalek aims at improving the healthcare system in Egypt through decreasing the gap between physicians and patients.
Abdel Khalek says that congested hospitals hinder the patients from getting properly diagnosed. “In Egypt, children, women and the elderly cannot reach doctors immediately. Congested clinics and hospitals hinder patients, with serious cases, from knowing the right diagnosis,” adds Abdel Khalek.
“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 at an early stage,” explains Abdel Khalek.
In efforts to contribute to change the Egyptian health care system, Abdel Khalek established Tabibi 24/7; it is a start-up that offers an integrated medical service to patients at their doorstep through a hotline number or through requesting the services on an online portal.
The Egyptian healthcare startup offers home examinations by family doctors and pediatricians. Tabibi 24/7 aims at facilitating the healthcare process through efficient communication between doctors and patients.
The team of Tabibi 24/7 comprises of 40 practitioners who receive regular advanced training sessions that keep them ahead in today’s medicine. The doctors have access to the majority of Cairo’s main neighborhoods.
The start-up aims at eliminating the bureaucracy of the traditional medical care in Egypt. “There is a wide array of innovative services such as vaccinations and lab test services at home, electronic medical reports, sports and nutrition programs including physical and psychological preparation of children and adults, home care for the elderly or patients who have just left the hospital,” says Abdel Khalek.
According to a relative of one of the patients, “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. 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.”
He added “They offered all the counseling and support they can 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.”
The startup also works on honing the skills of the fresh-graduate practitioners by providing them with all that they need to know about ‘family doctor’ concept.
Their training is held in cooperation with Primary Care International, aUK-based medical institution, that ensures sustainability and spread the culture of family medicine and early diagnosis.
Mohamed Alaa, Tabibi 24/7’s family medicine specialist says that bonds of trust and credibility are the cornerstone to introducing such concept in Egypt. “Building bonds of trust and credibility between the family doctor and the patient is the main pillar of the doctor-patient relationship,” says Alaa.
“Patients appreciate and understand the importance of this relationship, although some cases would need a transfer to a specialist or stay at a hospital. At such times the patient and his/her parents always feel safe when consulting or dealing with his family doctor. This is unlike specialized doctors who temporarily deal with the patient,” Alaa added.