Economy not hurting Jordan medical tourism


Medical tourism, one of the main sectors of the national economy, has not been negatively affected by the global economic crisis, says the PHA.

Private Hospitals Association (PHA) President Fawzi Hammouri said Jordan is ranked by the World Bank as number one in the Arab world, and among the top 10 in the world, as a medical tourism destination. “ In order to maintain this ranking, we have to keep the current markets in the Arab world and find new ones in Africa, Europe and the US.”

New markets have already been opened in Chad, Nigeria, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, while plans are in place to open markets in Germany, the UK and the US.

The high quality and competitive cost of healthcare in Jordan have made the country an attractive destination for foreigners seeking advanced treatments that are unavailable or unaffordable in their home countries.

“The medical tourism sector annually generates over US$1billion in revenues and the number of foreign patients seeking treatment in the Kingdom stands at over 200,000 per year,” said Hammouri

The PHA encourages hospitals to get Joint Commission International accreditation. There are 61 private hospitals, 48 of which are PHA members and four have JCI status.

The PHA is working with hospitals to offer medical tourism packages to Americans and Europeans who come to the country for medical services with unprecedented packages. Hammouri explains, “ We will provide them with packages that are 25 per cent below market prices. This includes the plane ticket, accommodation and a visit to Petra to encourage tourism as well.”

Prime Minister Nader Dahabi wants the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC), and Ministry of Health, to enhance efforts to attract more patients, especially from Europe and the US. HCAC hospitals responded that it would help if the government made medical tourism exempt from sales tax. HCAC was established through a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health and USAID/Jordan as an independent national hospital accreditor; whereby HCAC hospital standards are accredited by an International accreditor of healthcare accreditation organisation ISqua.



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