International patient numbers revive in Jordan

 

Around 35,000 patients of restricted nationalities visited Jordan in the first eight months of 2019, says the Private Hospitals Association Jordan. The Jordan Tourist Board gave figures so far for 2019 in late August of 34,443 medical visitors since the beginning of 2019, although it is vague as to what date that refers to.

Numbers would have been higher but the relaxation of visa rules only changed in May 2019.

Restricted nationalities include medical tourists from Chad, Libya, Yemen Sudan and Syria Patients of restricted nationalities can apply for visas through the websites of the Interior Ministry, diplomatic missions, airlines, accredited transport operators or licensed travel and tourism companies.

But hospitals have to provide a bank guarantee worth JD10,000 to ensure the departure of patients before the expiry of the visa. The rules allow that each patient can be accompanied by a maximum of four chaperones from his family, in addition to two children.

The total number of medical tourists, including restricted and non-restricted nationalities, for the first eight months of 2019 was 160,000 patients according to the Private Hospitals Association.  The remaining four months tends to get fewer patients but increased numbers from restricted countries may balance this. 

This could give a 2019 total of 230,000 but figures do include people accompanying patients. Even if actual patient numbers are only 200,000 this would be one of the best years for Jordan for some time and the good news is that the pattern of ever falling numbers has finally been reversed. The government wants to now actively promote medical tourism, although the Jordan Tourist Board is still only promoting wellness tourism.

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