Iran's medical tourism targets are unrealistic


Iran will not meet its medical and health tourism targets by 2025 says Mohammad Hossein Mirdehqan of the Iranian health ministry.

He says that while numbers are rising, the target of increasing numbers by seven to eight times the current figure is not going to happen.

The official target is to attract between 500,000 and 600,000 medical tourists every year based on the sixth economic development plan (2017-21).

According to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the country’s annual revenue from health tourism is between $400 million and $500 million, while the target is to reach $2.5 billion by 2025. Each person spends between $3,600 and $7,600 on every trip.

Mirdehqan says women of ages 45 to 65 make up the bulk of Iran’s inbound health tourists, and that while 400 hospitals are active in health tourism, only 170 have been granted permits to launch an International Patients Department.

The high cost of private treatment and low quality health systems in nearby countries means there is a demand for medical services available in Iran. Those from Muslim countries are particularly attracted to Iran as they feel more at home than in most Arab or Asian countries offering similar services.

Geographical proximity, hot and cold mineral springs in various parts of the country as well as low-cost and high quality health services such as fertility treatment, stem cell treatment and dialysis, as well as heart, cosmetic and eye surgeries, have created new opportunities in Iran’s health tourism.



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