Tehran hosting Islamic countries on health tourism 

July 14, 2021 - 2:0

TEHRAN –The 5th edition of the International Health Congress of Islamic Countries started in Tehran on Tuesday, aiming to find new opportunities for cooperation and development of health tourism among Muslim nations.

Being held at IRIB International Conference Center, the congress is organized by the Health Tourism Development Center of Islamic Countries (HTDC) and supported by ministries, federations, institutions, and organizations in health tourism as well as private and governmental health service providers, the official website of the event announced.

The three-day event has brought together seniors and experts from governmental and private sectors in the health tourism industry.

The congress is being held in five specialized panel discussions of medical tourism, sports tourism, natural, wellness, and food tourism, medical and laboratory equipment, and nutrition and healthy food.

The event started its official operations in 2015 with the aim of playing an effective role in developing economic relations and facilitating the networks between stakeholders in the health and health tourism industry.

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/MG
 

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