Infrastructural development in other sectors is required to be able to compete with regional countries in terms of medical tourism.
Infrastructural development in other sectors is required to be able to compete with regional countries in terms of medical tourism.

Medical Services Alone Cannot Boost Health Tourism

Medical Services Alone Cannot Boost Health Tourism

Health tourism requires the provision of infrastructure in other sectors and medical services alone cannot help improve the industry, the head of Avicenna Infertility Center said.
Addressing a conference on health tourism late last week, Seyyed Ali Azin added that Iran can offer good services to health tourists, because of its specialized physicians and adequate medical facilities but it cannot develop the sector by relying on them alone, ISNA reported.
"Accommodation, transportation, connection with the global banking system, ease of financial exchanges, health insurance and maintenance of foreign patient’s dignity are required for attracting tourists to the healthcare system of a country," he said.  
AIC is a specialized center located in Tehran for treating infertility and repeated miscarriages.
Azin regretted that Iran will lag behind in health tourism industry, if the authorities do not place the issue on their agenda.
"We have serious rivals such as Turkey that has made a significant contribution to health tourism industry in the region and currently is among the world’s top states in the field," he said.
Azin noted that although medical centers like Avicenna have drawn patients from Iran’s neighboring countries such as Iraq, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, the country still has a long way to go to make a noticeable improvement in health tourism, as there has been no marketing in the field.
"Iran has much to learn in marketing strategies to promote its healthcare system in the world. Time is up for passive marketing and we need to actively work toward advertizing our services worldwide," he said.
Health tourism refers to people traveling to a country other than their own to obtain medical treatment.
In the past, this usually referred to those who traveled from less-developed countries to major medical centers in highly developed countries for treatment unavailable at home.
However, in recent years, it may equally refer to those from developed countries who travel to developing countries for inexpensive medical treatments.


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