Intl. Health Congress of Islamic Countries opens in Tehran

November 7, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN – The 5th International Health Congress of Islamic Countries has brought together tens of representatives, experts, travel insiders, and private investors from its member states to discuss ways to develop medical tourism during the three-day event, which opened in Tehran on Sunday.

Being held at IRIB International Conference Center, the congress seeks to find new opportunities for cooperation and development of health tourism among Muslim nations, according to organizers.

The event 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.

International Health Congress of Islamic Countries made its debut in 2015 to play an effective role in developing economic relations and facilitating the networks between stakeholders in the health and health tourism industry.

The congress turns the spotlight on five specialized panel discussions of medical tourism, sports tourism, natural, wellness, and food tourism, medical and laboratory equipment, and nutrition and healthy food.

In addition, an exhibition is staged on the sidelines of the event to highlight top startups in the realms of medical tourism, sports tourism, curative & wellness tourism, rural & ecotourism, educational tourism, food tourism, medicine, and medical equipment, and health services.

Iran is known in the world as an affordable destination for health tourism and the government is making a great effort to attract more health tourists in the years to come. Many believe that medical tourism in the Islamic Republic 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 offers different kinds of medical services such as eye surgeries and services, cardiovascular surgeries especially pediatric heart surgery, bone marrow transplantation, gynecologic and obstetric surgery, oncologic services, cerebrospinal surgery, orthopedic surgery (total knee & total hip replacement, etc.), and urologic surgery, and so many other services.

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.

According to available data, 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.

Health and medical tourism are of very high importance for the Islamic Republic, which has set a goal to exceed its yearly medical travelers to around two million till the Iranian calendar year 1404 (starting in January 2025).


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