Interview



Attracting foreign patients with advanced medical expertise

Jordan has achieved great strides in the medical tourism industry over the past several years. Serving as a safe haven in the region, the kingdom is considered the number one medical tourism destination in the MENA region. Middle East Health spoke to Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri, Chairman of the Private Hospitals Association of Jordan, about the association and medical tourism in Jordan. Dr Al-Hammouri is Honorary President of the Global Healthcare Travel Council and a key player in the medical tourism sector in the region.

Middle East Health: What is the role of the Private Hospitals Association in promoting Jordan as a medical tourism destination?
Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri: The Private Hospitals Association (PHA), was established in 1984 to represent the countryís private hospitals and raise their reputation. PHA works diligently to promote and defend the rights of Jordanís private hospitals. Due to Jordanís high reputation as a medical tourism hub, we have been invited to present Jordanís Ďsuccess storyí in many medical tourism conferences and forums internationally, where we have shared our experience and journey with other emerging medical tourism destinations.

MEH: Why is Jordan attractive to foreign patients?
Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri: With no less than 65 private hospitals, many boasting cutting edge facilities and first-rate physicians, Jordan is considered in the top league in the global medical tourism market.

Since the early seventies Jordan has been regarded as a pioneer for performing many medical procedures in the Arab world for the first time. These achievements have made Jordan well known for its medical expertise and an attractive destination for foreign medical patients.

Jordanian physicians and surgeons have a very good reputation. The Jordanian Government decided that education and investment in its human capital will be the way to build the future of our country, so youwill fi nd that Jordan leads the region in the number of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and engineers per capita. For example, Jordan has 29 physicians and 33 nurses and 16 pharmacists per 10,000 population. We also invested in scholarships for our doctors to get post graduate training and certifi cates from USA, UK, Canada, Germany and many other countries.

There is also a positive investment environment in Jordan, which has led to the private sector building hospitals. More than 60% of hospitals in Jordan are private, and they are well equipped with the latest medical technology. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are now easily available for patients at low cost with no waiting time and without compromising the quality of care, which is crucial for travelling patients.

Our hospitals apply international quality standards. At present, 10 Jordanian hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), with many others in the process of obtaining this accreditation and 25 hospitals are accredited by the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC).

Jordan boasts significant expertise in a variety of medical specialties such as kidney transplant, bone marrow transplant, oncology, paediatrics, geriatrics, cardiac surgery, orthopaedic procedures, cosmetic surgery, dental procedures, IVF, psychiatry and drug addiction, to name a few.

Jordan has certain characteristics that favour it as a medical tourism destination, such as a high level of security and stability compared to other countries in the region.

Jordanís climate is another attractive point as in most days of the year the weather is moderate, in addition to that Jordan has numerous tourist attractions and archaeological sites, several of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the historic city of Petra. Jordan had the largest natural spa on earth which is the Dead Sea the lowest point on earth, which has healing powers for many diseases such as psoriasis and pulmonary diseases.

MEH: Can you tell us about some of the achievements of the Private Hospitals Association?
Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri: We at PHA are keen to keep Jordan as the number one medical tourism destination in the MENA region. As a result, Jordan manages to attract 250,000 international patients annually, with revenue of more than $1.2 billion. Those patients come from 62 countries, mainly from the traditional markets such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Bahrain, Oman and United Arab Emirates, in addition to few non-traditional markets such as the USA, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Chad and Nigeria. On the back of PHA initiatives, Jordan was awarded: The Destination of The Year 2014 by International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ). In October 2015, I was elected as the president of the Global Healthcare Travel Council for two years.

 

Date of upload: 16th Jul 2017

                                  
                                               Copyright © 2017 MiddleEastHealthMag.com. All Rights Reserved.