Mar 30, 2019 08:54 UTC

Welcome to today’s episode of the Iranian Market. In this episode of our weekly program, we’re going to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran’s industry of health tourism.

Making tours and trips has always been common during the history of mankind. In the past, people mostly traveled for pilgrimage or trade.
Furthermore, making trips was considered as a luxurious act in different communities and only rich people could afford it. However, different developments in the life of mankind, including the expansion of transportation and communications, made tourism and travel a common aspect of human life among various ethnicities.
Today, tourism is considered as one of the main lucrative industries in the global economy. It is said that tourism is the third big industry in the world after oil and auto industries. This industry creates job opportunities, helps reducing poverty and expands social welfare and justice.
Tourism is classified in different categories including history, nature, culture, commerce, science, health, sports, adventure, and religion.
What becomes the basis of each category is the main intention or purpose of the tourist or the traveler. Health industry is one of the varieties of tourism which has been taken into consideration in recent decades. 
Those who travel to other countries for receiving health services are included in the category of health tourists.
Health tourism is carried out with the aim of preservation, recovery or regaining mental and physical health of individuals. Therefore, a health tourist leaves his/ her country and travels abroad to receive health services in the medical centers of the destination country. That is why health tourism is categorized among the most flourishing types of tourism in the world and the number of health tourists is increasing day by day in the world.
Medical Tourism is a subclass of health tourism whereby a trip is taken for the treatment of physical illness or surgical operation under the supervision of doctors in hospitals and medical centers.
It is said that more than seven million people receive health services annually in medical centers throughout the world. The health industry market is one of the competitive and revenue-generating industries in the world. 
Thus, on a large scale, governments are interested in receiving the economic advantages of this industry.
Many countries, including the developing ones, have become interested in investment in this industry. There is also an increasing competition among different countries for attracting tourists.
Medical tourism is the most important and most common subdivision of health tourism. 
Medical tourism comprises the benefits of both medicine and tourism.
The income of this industry on the global level is 439 billion dollars annually.
Among the reasons for a medical tourist to leave his/her country and seek help in the medical centers of the destination countries mention can be made of receiving high quality health services and facilities, the presence of expert and experienced physicians, the low cost of health services in the destination country. The destinations of these tourists are mostly clinics and hospitals with high quality medical facilities and low cost services. In most cases, the aim of medical tourism is enjoying low cost and fast medical services in the destination country.
The services provided in medical tourism are different and depend on the tourist’s choice. From basic simple dentistry services and cosmetic surgeries to highly complicated surgeries of knee transplant, heart and eye surgery or treating infertility are provided in the destination country.
The Iranian city of Shiraz is renowned across the world as a hub of health tourism for more than sixty years. This reputation has increased especially after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and foundation of the Islamic Republic system. Shiraz receives thousands of foreign patients annually especially from the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf. Having scores of advanced and equipped universities, charity and private specialty and subspecialty hospitals, this city provides a vast range of medical services by experienced and skillful doctors. Some medical services offered to the patients in Shiraz include, organ transplantation including liver, renal, pancreas, and bone marrow transplantation. Other services include Cerebral Vascular Angioplasty, Hepatic Artery Angioplasty, Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy for various cancers, Eye Surgery, Slimming Services and Skin and Cosmetic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery, Hip and knee orthopedics and Arthroplasty, Infertility Treatment through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Iran’s Farabi Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Ophthalmology (FCCEO) is the largest and the most productive eye care facility in Iran and the West Asian region. The high aptitude of Farabi ophthalmologists, expert diagnostic capabilities, multispecialty coordinated care and access to the latest treatment and research are the main reasons patients choose Farabi to receive the best eye care for themselves and their families.
Farabi International Patient Department (IPD) has four separate rooms equipped with full monitoring for patient care, complete facilities, and communication equipment such as high-speed Internet, TV, separate wash room, etc.
All the personnel at IPD are able to communicate in English and Arabic. Attending is available round the clock to supervise patients’ ophthalmic course of treatment.
Shahid Hasheminejad sub-specialty hospital is an educational, research and medical center and is under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and includes hospitals affiliated to Iran University of Medical Sciences.
Sub-specialized services are provided in this hospital including in the fields of urology, nephrology, kidney transplantation, vascular surgery, etc. 
Also Iran’s Shahid Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center is one of the largest specialist and sub-specialist centers in West Asia.