‘Iran’s small share of Afghan heath tourists should be addressed’

December 1, 2018

TEHRAN- Iran attracts a small number of Afghan health tourists as they usually travel to Turkey and India to receive treatment, announced the International Relations Director and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan.

According to Wahid Majrooh, Afghan governmental and medical centers have had great medical achievements, but they are still not capable of providing patients with specialized services; consequently, many Afghans who need specialized treatment travel to other countries such as India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran, ILNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

“Afghanistan is more compatible with Iran in terms of its religion, language and geographical position, but most patients travel to India and Pakistan,” said Majrooh. 

“We think that if our Iranian friends don’t attract Afghan health tourists, they may not be able to penetrate Afghanistan’s medicine market either,” Spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan said.“This issue needs to be addressed and researched upon because Afghanistan is willing to share its $300 to $400 million worth of tourism market with Iranian friends; however, if Iran wants to profit from this market, it should be more active and professional in seizing the opportunities,” he said.

“We think that if our Iranian friends don’t attract Afghan health tourists, they may not be able to penetrate Afghanistan’s medicine market either,” Majrooh added. 

“Iranian hospitals and private centers have not yet advertised the efficiency and capacity of their technical equipment and human resource among Afghans, so we don't have enough information about Iran’s health sector capabilities.” 

Majrooh added that the presence of Iranian physicians in Afghanistan would also be an effective method in introducing the capacities of Iran’s health system to Afghans. 

“I think with more talks with our Iranian counterparts, we would finally reach an effective solution as apart from bringing benefits to Iran’s market, using Iran’s medical services is more financially justified for Afghans as well,” he said.

“The Islamic Republic constructed a hospital building in Kabul around 10 years ago and after our recent meeting with Iran’s Red Crescent, it was agreed that the hospital starts its activity by the beginning of next year,” said Majrooh.

SJ/MQ/MG



 

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