70,000 foreign patients admitted to Iranian hospitals last year

July 22, 2019 - 17:57

TEHRAN- Iranian hospitals admitted 70,000 foreign patients over the last [Iranian calendar] year (March 2018 – March 2019), said the head of medical tourism department at the Ministry of Health. 

According to Saeid Hashemzadeh, 169 hospitals which have the necessary permits, admit foreign patients in Iran, ISNA reported on Saturday. 

Some 90% of foreign patients in Iran are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and other countries around the Persian Gulf, said Hashemzadeh.

“The number of foreign patients in Iran grew by 1.5 percent over the last year compared to its preceding year; and this year we expect the figure to double as we have done some medical marketing,” he said. 

“Only over the first three months of the current year (March 21 – June 21), 17,000 foreign patients were admitted to Iranian hospitals,” he added. 

Medical tourism made an economic contribution of around $1.2 billion to the country in the last Iranian calendar year (March 2017-March 2018), according to data compiled by the medical tourism department at the Ministry of Health.

In April 2018, the rotating presidency of the International Health Tourism Conference of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was handed to the Islamic Republic for a three-year term.

In May 2018, Mohammad Jahangiri who presides over a national center for developing health tourism said that Iran has the capacity to annually earn $7 billion in medical and health tourism, though the sector now brings in only one-seventh or even lesser of the sum.

Iran has set its goals to exceed its yearly medical travelers to around 2 million in [calendar year] 1404. 

SJ/MG

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