Iranian president urges efforts to boost medical tourism

June 18, 2021 - 18:13

TEHRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged sustainable efforts towards developing medical tourism across the country.

“Health tourism is of great importance to us, and hospitals located in the border provinces of the country can serve a pivotal role in developing medical tourism by providing medical services to foreign guests and tourists,” Rouhani said on Thursday.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of some health projects, urging the need for reinforcing medical and health services in some provinces, including Khorasan (Razavi), Isfahan, Fars, and East Azarbaijan, is an absolute duty.

“For the time being, many Iranians living in foreign countries prefer to choose homeland for their treatment or certain surgeries,” he said, adding such a trend indicates great efforts made by “dear doctors and nurses and all the dear ones who work in the health sector”.

Medical tourism is booming worldwide as about 20 to 24 million people are traveling for medical treatments annually. Factors such as increased care needs over longer lifespans, rising healthcare costs, and constant pressures on some insurance industries are reasons behind why some opt to travel abroad.

Regarding price competitiveness, Iran currently ranks first in the world but the country has not been very successful in attracting potential travelers as other competitors like Singapore and Turkey. People from the Persian Gulf littoral states, Iraq and Syria as well as Iranian expatriates residing in Canada and Germany constituted the majority of medical travelers to the Islamic Republic, who received plastic, cosmetics, open-heart, and orthopedic surgeries amongst other treatments over the past couple of years.

The Islamic Republic has set goals to exceed its yearly medical travelers to around two million in [calendar year] 1404 (March 2025-March 2026). Amongst Iran’s trump cards are the presence of credible surgeons and physicians, cutting-edge medical technologies, high-tech medicine and diverse specializations, super affordable procedures, and finally its hospitable people.

AFM

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