Sep 7, 2019, 4:12 PM
Journalist ID: 956
News Code: 83468420
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Health Service System for Muslim countries to be unveiled soon

Tehran, Sept 7, IRNA - A Comprehensive Health Service System of Islamic Countries is to be unveiled in a bid to get away from traditional approach in receiving health tourism services and enable health tourists to get related services simultaneously through a website, Head of the Policy Council of Health Tourism Development Center of Islamic Countries, Mahdi Karimi said on Saturday.

Speaking in an interview with IRNA, he said that Iranian engineers have been working on the system since 5 years ago, adding a patient from a source country could select his target country easily with the help of the system.

He stressed that health tourism is one of the lucrative and employment generating areas that is taken into consideration by various countries.

Karimi added that the topic has recently drawn the attention of the Iranian officials and has been considered in private sectors.

When it comes to health tourism, the fields like sport, food, nature as well as adventure are also involved, he underlined.

Tens of thousands of tourist spots could be found in Iran and it seems no country in West of Asia could compete with it in this regard, but the country's health tourism potential has not been introduced appropriately, he noted

Head of the Policy Council of Health Tourism Development Center of Islamic Countries stated that the center set up with the membership of 38 Muslim countries with the goal of promoting health tourism 7 years ago and Its major objective was combining innovation with business, but it occurred when varied sanctions against Iran was being imposed.

Referring to Tehran as the permanent secretariat of the center, Karimi added that presently the center has established bureaus in 42 countries which work in line with mutual cooperation and establishing a tourism network in the area.

The center pursues merging state-run and private sectors in the target countries and collaborating with the Medical ministry and Tourism one there. In fact, it is the largest network on health tourism in West of Asia, he underscored.

He added that at the center 20 non-permanent members have also been accepted from non-Islamic countries that have been successful in the field.

Referring to the fact that 30 countries have voiced their readiness to join the system, he said that the website will deliver different services such as booking an appointment as well as tickets and is to be unveiled this year.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that currently most health tourists who choose Iran are from Iraq and two Iranian provinces, including Fars and Khorasan Razavi host most of the tourists.

For much of the interview, he elaborated on the role of tourism on Iran's revenue, saying that the Iranian officials have come to the conclusion that the country's economy should not be merely oil-based and health tourism could account for one fourth of the Iranian economy.

Answering a question on the outcomes of the previous congress, he said that health tourism was the main focus of the previous editions of the event whereas this year 'technology stars' in the area will also be taken into account.

Karimi went on to say that the network for health tourism was established at previous congress while the upcoming one will concentrate on innovation as well as technology in tourism industry.

In response to a question about the principle plan of the congress, he stated that it includes programs on health tourism, cooperation with universities and scientific centers as well as specialized workshops. So far, 18 countries have been received invitation letters of the event.

Referring to the fact that 500 people benefited from the courses held on the sidelines of last year's congress; he said that this year over 1,000 individuals will make use of the foreign instructors' workshops and will be given international certificates.

At this year's congress 14 start-ups have registered at the congress so far, he said, adding that the best private sectors in food, sport, health and medicine will be selected at the event to encourage them.

He reiterated that Venture Capital (VC) on Iranian start-ups in health tourism will be reviewed at the congress.

Low cost services in Iran could be the added value for the economy, Head of the Policy Council of Health Tourism Development Center of Islamic Countries emphasized.

Commenting on the requirements that Iran should acquire to flourish in health tourism, Karimi noted that there is a distance between the brands of Iran and those of other countries. The Iranian commercial symbol should be taken into consideration.

He highlighted that Iran is a leading country in the region and its moves in this area could be models for other states.


Interview by: Tohid Mahmoudpour

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