Iran urges for private sector’s greater role in medical tourism

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Iran’s health minister urged the private sector to boost participation in development of the country’s medical tourism sector, Tehran Times daily reported on Tuesday.

“The Ministry of Health supports medical tourism sector that is directed by the private sector based on competitive prices,” Hassan Qazizadeh-Hashemi said in an address to a medical tourism conference in the Iranian capital Tehran.

“Unfortunately, the country is far less developed in the field of medical tourism, and improving such services will be carried out by the private sector’s assistance,” Qazizadeh-Hashemi was quoted as saying.

“If we want health tourism to flourish, we need to trigger the private sector to become more vigorous in this regard while competition must be in terms of service quality and cheaper prices. There are many patients who care about the costs of medical services,” he said.

The Ministry of Health welcomes prospects of attracting foreign patients with competitive tariffs, he stressed.

Besides, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said on the sidelines of the conference that tourists who travel to Iran to receive medical services will be charged half the regular visa issuance fee.

“Medical tourists and their companions can also travel back and forth to Iran during the course of treatment,” Qashqavi said.

Last year, some 30,000 visas were issued for medical tourists who travelled to Iran, he added.

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