COVID did not stop medical tourism in Iran: deputy minister

November 9, 2021 - 18:55

TEHRAN – Iran’s deputy tourism minister has said COVID-19 restrictions did not stop medical tourism in the country.

“The coronavirus pandemic reduced the arrival of medical tourists to Iran but it did not stop the [worldwide] demand and travel flow,” IRNA quoted Ali-Asghar Shalbafian as saying on Monday.

“Our view towards medical tourism is not purely economic. We see it as a tool and opportunity to represent the achievements and capabilities of the Islamic Republic in the medical field,” the official explained.

He made the remarks during the 5th International Health Congress of Islamic Countries, which brought together tens of representatives, experts, travel insiders, and private investors from member states.

Held at Tehran’s IRIB International Conference Center, a three-day event was aimed to find new opportunities for cooperation and development of health tourism among Muslim nations, according to organizers.

The congress turned 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.

The Islamic Republic 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.

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).

Various Iranian cities offer a variety 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.


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