Ahvaz Medical Tourism Hub
AHVAZ: MIDDLE EAST’S NEW HOME OF MEDICINE
Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province, located in the southwestern part of Iran. This city is in the close vicinity of neighbouring countries including Iraq and Kuwait. Ahvaz is famous for its river called Karun which is crossing the city and originating from the Zagros mountains. Ahvaz is a metropolis city with a population of about 1.1 million, and it is considered as the heart of oil production for Iran. The ethnic groups of Ahvaz are diverse, but two distinguished ethnics are Arabs and Bakhtiari. Being close to Basra in Iraq, Ahvaz attracts many medical tourists from Iraq coming to Iran for medical health treatments.
Bushehr is located in the Persian Gulf, the very southeastern part of Iran. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Bushehr including Persian Gulf coastlines, green palm trees and salt domes. Being on the coastal line of the Persian Gulf, this province enjoys a humid weather. The best time to travel to Bushehr is during the Springtime when it is coincident with the Iranian New Year festival. The eye-catching palm trees and green fields along the river in Abpakhsh are the unique tourist attractions of the Bushehr. Moreover, the Jask island’s salt domes are one the biggest of its kind in the Middle East.
Tourism is a well establish sector, and the Middle East has become one of the leading destinations for tourist in recent times. As the world continues to get more connected as a result of globalisation, sub-sectors like medical tourism have become a rising phenomenon in the tourism sector. This sub-sector is said to be worth around 60 billion dollars annually. It comes as no surprise that several governments are now investing in the medical tourism sector due to it social, economic and financial impact. As a result, there is a rising trend of major investments in the Middle East medical tourism sector.
As countries in the Middle East begin to make moves to make their respective nation the top destination for medical services, Iran has decided to lead the charge by committing an annual budget of $34 billion to projects like the Ahvaz medical tourism centres. Reports from one of Iran’s economic news outlet, the Financial Tribune revealed that a centre was opened in Apadana Hospital Ahvaz. This centre has become a hub that caters to Iraqi people while playing an important role in serving as a medical tourist site in Ahvaz. It is said that this particular centre offers services to more than 5000 people (2017) with a 25% projected to increase the following year.
Medical Tourism in the Middle East is now a global affair, as people continually seek affordable and quality health services for a fraction of the cost in western countries. The global demand for affordable health care services in areas such as; drugs, surgery, check-ups, dentistry and more is what propels Asian countries like Singapore to invest in building infrastructure to support such services. In the Middle East, Iran is taking huge steps as they seek to be a major medical tourism destination that renders health care services to neighbouring countries like Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, Oman, and Bahrain. Data suggest that the growth experienced by a nation actively involved in tourism is directly related to the growth experience in the health tourism sector.
The primary reason for considering medical tourism is the cost; Gulf news reported that people from the Middle Eastern countries spend as much as $30 billion annually abroad for medical treatment. This is a lot of money, and the simple answer to this problem is to have top-class facilities that are capable of locally driving the Middle East tourism sector. Egypt used to be the top gulf country for medical tourism back in the 80s but has since been overtaken by UAE. While the UAE is the foremost tourist destination for travellers in recent times, its medical expenses are considerably higher for Middle Eastern citizens. Therefore, an affordable but yet premium alternative is to visit Ahvaz for your medical services.