Iran: Emerging Market in Medical Tourism 

The health tourism industry continues to grow significantly due to the comprehensive need for treatment today. Fortunately, the Islamic Republic of  Iran, with its location in a suitable area where many of its neighbours need to receive quality care, offers tremendous advances in health and treatment. The high capabilities of the health system have created a golden opportunity for the country, in addition to treating the people in need of the region, it can bring significant income to Iran.

The country has made significant achievements in all healthcare services.

By reforming the structure of non-Iranian patients’ admissions in iranian hospitals, a suitable platform has been provided to ensure non-Iranian patients in need of care receive high standards of treatment at an affordable cost.

Today, more than 135 medical centres in the Islamic Republic of Iran, have received a certificate of admission of international patients under the strict supervision of the Ministry of Health. Every time international patients are admitted through these hospitals, they can safely receive medical treatment. says Dr Hassan Rashki, Iranian Medical Tourism expert.

“Bone marrow transplantation – a definitive treatment for all types of blood cancers – can be a valuable achievement for the country’s healthcare industry with a success rate of over 90%,” Rashki added.

The ophthalmologist services in Iran are equal to the most credible countries in the world. As a second-best country in terms of the quality of ophthalmic treatment services, Iran is considered as the second country after Spain.

According to Dr Rashki, Infertility treatment in Iran is very scientific and progressive and its success rate is in line with the highest international standards. Many infertile healthcare applicants from neighbouring countries are receiving hospital care for these services.

Performing all kinds of cancer surgeries, gynaecological diseases, orthopaedics, heart in the hospitals of the country has become commonplace and a large number of Iranian physicians are ready to treat all the diseases with the strongest possible form.

Experts predict that if Iran’s diverse therapeutic capacities are introduced in target countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran will easily have the potential to raise $ 4 billion annually in health tourism.

Lack of sufficient direct flights to some countries, somewhat booked-up hotels in high seasons are amongst challenges Which may slow down the growth of Iranian medical tourism.

High Dental Capacity of Iran in Medical Tourism

“The knowledge of Iranian dentistry is based on the knowledge and practical capabilities of international standards and has achieved the highest standards of dentists in the world.” Dr Ali Tajernia President of Iranian Dental Association said in an interview with SAFAR Magazine.

The Iranian Dental Association is one of the oldest organizations in the medical community of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has been around for about 5 decades.

Dr Tajrania emphasizes that the Iranian dentistry system has many capacities in the field of medical tourism.

Both in terms of dental techniques and in treatment costs, as well as the quality of service for non-Iranian patients, are attractive. For many patients who come to Iran for dental treatment, these prices are so affordable that they cover the cost of the ticket and the hotel they stay in.

However, we still have a long way to go in introducing these capacities in the field of dentistry. The reputation of Iranian dentistry needs to be introduced with modern and up-to-date methods.

Today, modern dentistry clinics in Iran embrace patients. If non-Iranian patients undergo primary medical treatment in their country, they will save both time and cost when they come to Iran for more specialized medical treatments.

Doctor Tajgrenia says that specialized dental clinics will be ranked in the future. In this way, applicants for further study will choose Iranian dental clinics.

President of the Iranian Dental Association announces his readiness to establish a department for accepting foreign patients and establishing contacts with foreign stakeholders.

He stressed that, given the geopolitical conditions of the region, the relationship between Iran and the country of Oman should be further developed, and participation in exhibitions such as the Omani Health Exhibition can be very effective in the development of medical supplies. We now need public diplomacy in the country, which can thwart the propaganda that is taking place around Iran. “I think that in the future, communications between nations will be together, and apart from the differences of governments, issues such as health tourism can greatly affect the consolidation of relations between nations.

Looking for efficient partner in Oman

Association of Medical, Dental, Laboratory & pharmaceutical Equipment Manufacturers and Exporters (AMEDAL) an institution that manages the capacities of private sector manufacturers in the field of medical equipment. Maryam Ghasemi, a member of the Board of Directors and General Secretary of the AMEDAL, believes that Oman has a proper platform for launching Iranian production lines as well as re-exporting some products to more countries.

Political relations, cultural and economic ties between Iran and Sultanate of Oman have long been stable and mutually respectful, and, on this basis, agreements have been signed between the two governments.

Even Oman could play an outstanding role for re-exporting Iranian products to the third party.

Maryam Ghasemi emphasizes:  “Thanks to proper geographical relations, Oman will be able to bridge Iran with other parts of the world, especially African states.

Mrs. Ghasemi reminded us about manufacturing of Medical equipment potential in Iran: Last year we participated in the OmanHealth exhibition, and this year the AMEDAL will focus on setting up production lines and how to reach an agreement with local partners in the region. We hope that with the appropriate targets, we will have more achievements than last year.  We believe that the market will not develop until we can get a good introduction to Iran’s products in the Omani market. As far as we are concerned, the entrance to the Omani market is even in the present situation, is an opportunity for Iranian producers. How can Iran use this opportunity in Oman to find a trusted partner? Mrs. Ghasemi added: “AMEDAL is looking for create a business model using a local partner. As in the European countries, we are working on a framework for representing native Iranian products. In some other countries, such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Oman, which are closer, we also consider the option of investing and setting up production lines, in addition to being able to provide a local deal solution.

“We also know that there are a number of special economic zones in Oman that can be used for surveying and obtaining facilities. I think the pattern of launching the production line in Oman will be more effective than the representation model. Members of AMEDAL are mainly manufacturers and a number of these members came into the area of export and have significant activities. We have tried to identify the countries of the target market and the Iranian producers are working closely together, which will bring about synergy and reduce costs in the export markets.

Mrs. Ghasemi described the AMEDAL’s export plans as a strategic one and said that exports could have some advantages for domestic manufacturers. An increase in foreign exchange rates has exacerbated the attractiveness of exports and is an opportunity for Iranian producers.

Our exports are geographically-oriented

Iran’s medical equipment exports are geographically-oriented to product-centric. The target community exports Iran’s medical equipment to 17 countries. It is, of course, easier to export to some Arab countries. Dr Ishaq Ameri the head of Export Department of Ministry of Health and Medical Education said: “having a CE standard is mandatory, we are implementing a stringent process in standards, and the inspection companies are responsible for the implementation of these standards.”

Dr Ameri emphasizes the high export capacities of medical equipment, which for the past 10 years has always been one of the medical equipment manufacturers in the National Award, and presently % 44  of the exports are consigned to the European Union.

“This market, of course, is good for neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, and we are pursuing various meetings with its officials.” Dr Ameri added.

We are following the establishment of the Medical Equipment Training Center in Oman

The Iranian Medical devices specialist society (IMEDS) is seeking to create a pattern and convergence for the export of Iranian technical and engineering services in the field of medicine.

Ahmad Moslem the Chairman of IMEDS believes the main strategy of the association is to focus on the field of education for the export of medical engineering services and the establishment of a university professorial university, which is the best example for recognizing the technical capabilities of our country. In this way, young people in Iran will have the opportunity to be attracted to the field of medical engineering services. Muslims say: “Fortunately, the Sultanate of Oman has always been a friendly and balanced country for decades and, despite the pressure exerted by some countries in the region in recent years, has pursued a balanced policy and has always kept the dialogue open for our country. Therefore, the creation of a joint scientific and technical training centre with Oman in the field of medical equipment, and the holding of specialized and technical courses in the field of medical equipment for volunteers and activists from both countries and even countries in the region is more than ever justified.

“The most important issue is the recognition of the Omani domestic market, of course, the market is

relatively small, and in the most important step, the recognition of the export capacities of the country is Oman. Oman has free trade with major American and Asian markets and provides world-class international connectivity for its manufacturers or traders. Oman is a highly developed country and its officials have taken major infrastructure plans for their development. Plans such as the creation of healthy cities, free trade zones, etc. It is obvious that the most important issue for Iranian economic activists is to recognize the right way and in the next step, planning with international and correct behaviour.

To become the centrepiece of the medical equipment supplier in the region

The conditions for the production of High-Tech equipment have been provided more than ever in Iran. Currently, there are 1000 medical and affiliated medical equipment manufacturers, which produce nearly 15,000 items of medical equipment.

Mrs. Roza Mokhtari, the Head of Supervision on Production & QC Department  says: “The growing numbers of medical equipment with the D, C grade line represents a sense of confidence in manufacturers to produce HIGH TECH equipment.” Which would make Iran the centrepiece of medical equipment in the region.

The reasons for this were the availability of facilities and infrastructures, good laboratories, technical Know-How knowledge, and the success of the high demand for these services in the region, saying that these could be accompanied by new investment opportunities for Iran.

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