Although seeking medical treatment has been one of the main reasons for people traveling abroad over centuries, it took a long time for ‘medical tourism’ to become one of the most lucrative industries in the world that attracts millions of tourists annually to countries offering high quality medical services.
For several reasons Iran has the potential to become one of the leading countries in the field.
Iran’s geographic position is a main factor. Neighboring 15 developing countries which are mainly inferior in medical services quality, offers Iran a target market of around 200 millions of people. Its climate variability is another geographic factor. But geography by itself does not explain the abovementioned growth rate. As such there are four other factors that can be described as underpins of Iran’s advantage in medical tourism and its high growth rate.
First is the low-priced medical services offered by Iranian health sector. There are always those medical tourists who travel from developed and medically advanced countries seeking better affordable medical services.
The second reason is the exchange rate fluctuations. Iranian Rials’ value has dropped rapidly within the past four years and lost two – third of its value. As a result, under the new conditions, Iranian medical services are offered in one – third of their previous prices to medical tourists. This situation resulted in a flow of medical tourists into Iran mainly from its neighboring countries, especially from Azerbaijan, Iraq and the Persian Gulf countries.
The third reason is Iran’s well educated and skilled workforce in medical treatment and healthcare compared to other main destinations of medical tourism in the Middle East. Its scientific development in some medical specialties has enhanced its position in the field. For instance, Iran is among the worlds’ top five countries in biotech.
The fourth factor is Iran’s reformed rules and regulations in granting visas to medical tourists. In an attempt to boost its tourism sector, Iran has facilitated the regulations of granting visas to medical tourists and their companions. These regulations have long been an obstacle to Iranian tourism industry.
The Main Medical Treatments
The aforementioned reasons have paved the way for more development in the medical tourism sector. Among the main medical treatments sought by tourists in Iran are infertility treatment, dentistry, plastic surgery, heart surgery, cancer-related diseases, ophthalmology and healing waters.
The main markets for the Iranian medical tourism in recent years have been Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is noticeable that at the same period, Turkey has been the second medical tourism destination among Islamic nations. Being a target market for Iranian medical tourism, Turkey indicates Iran’s relative advantage both in terms of its medical services’ reasonable prices and their high qualities and advanced technologies in certain fields.
Up until now, the Iranian provinces of Tehran, Khorasan Razavi, Eastern Azerbaijan, Gilan, Ardabil and Fars have been the main medical tourism destinations respectively. Planning to develop the infrastructure and enhance the qualities of health services for medical tourists, ICHTO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, has specified the following provinces for medical tourism: Tehran for tuberculosis and lung disorders; Khorasan Razavi for ophthalmology, skin care, heart surgery and orthopedics; Fars for liver and kidney diseases and marrow transplants; Yazd for infertility; Qom for its sun and desert potential; Hamedan, Ilam and Zanjan for herbal medicine.
Our services are backed by our many years of expertise, knowledge, and energy in these areas:
- Patient online services (quote and consultation)
- Planning the highest international standards and quality hospitals and clinics (for all treatments and budgets)
- Appointing treatments by most skilled and internationally trained doctors and surgeons (most of doctors and surgeons have more than 10 years of experience with international degrees)
- Airport pick-up, pre-operative check-ups, 24-hours assistance, accommodation arrangements (for patients and their families)
- Pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization high-quality healthcare services