Iranian province to develop, facilitate medical tourism 

May 30, 2021 - 20:0

TEHRAN – Local authorities plan to boost and facilitate medical tourism in East Azarbaijan province after the coronavirus crisis is over. 

The quality of the international units of the medical centers throughout the province is to be improved, which will allow health tourism to succeed in the region, the deputy provincial tourism chief has said. 

A targeted marketing and advertising plan to lure foreign medical tourists to the province would be crucial since the provincial capital of Tabriz is one of the major medical hubs of the country, Alireza Bayramzadeh announced on Sunday. 

Organizing companies that are active in this field with the help of relevant agencies may also be necessary, the official added. 

The developing health tourism industry is one of the most important fields of Iran’s travel sector, which is trying to prove its capabilities and capacities in attracting medical and health tourists to the country.

Many domestic experts believe that medical tourism in Iran is a win-win opportunity both for the country and foreign patients, as they are offered affordable yet quality treatment services and the country gains considerable foreign currency. 

Iran’s two most popular medical tourist cities are Tehran and Mashhad, but the Coronavirus outbreak has significantly reduced the number of travelers.

Iran is one of the major destinations for health tourism in the region, and patients with 55 different nationalities, mostly from neighboring countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan are seeking to use Iran’s services and facilities in this field.

Iranian hospitals admitted nearly 70,000 foreign patients over the Iranian calendar year 1397 (March 2018 – March 2019) and it made an economic contribution of around $1.2 billion to the country, according to 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.

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

The Islamic Republic has set its goals to exceed its yearly medical travelers to around 2 million in the Iranian calendar year 1404.

ABU/AFM 

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