AMMAN — The Jordan Hotel Association (JHA) is gearing up to welcome a projected total of 230,000 medical tourists this year, over 100 per cent increase from 2022. Due to this increase, travel agents specialised in medical tourism are urging stakeholders to create a unified application that allows for seamless coordination from all parties.

Tariq, a medical tourism agent, is redirecting all his reservations and travel packages to neighbouring countries due to the challenges faced in Jordan.

Both Tariq and his clients are frustrated with long wait times at the borders, a lack of cooperation, overpriced procedures and the absence of a single department in charge of medical tourism.

“Jordan has some of the best medical facilities and medical staff in the region, and easing procedures and cooperating with travel agents can bring benefits to both patients and the economy,” Tariq, who prefers to go by a single name, told The Jordan Times.

Tariq added that for medical tourism to grow there must first be special lanes at the airport and a medical doctor who can understand each case.

“Patients understand the importance of security check-ups and airport safety. However, they come sick, exhausted and usually carrying medications and medical equipment. They can’t handle long wait hours or a lengthy security check-up,” Tariq said.

Additionally, creating a multi-lingual application that has all the documents needed as well as all the permits, diagnosis is much needed, according to Tariq.

“The application should include the Ministry of Health, the Jordan Tourism Board, the Public Security Directorate to ease procedures for patients,” said Tariq.

Meanwhile, Hussein Hlalat, spokesperson for the JHA, said that Jordan is “renowned” as one of the leading countries in the field of medical tourism, and is experiencing significant growth and promising numbers.

“Based on the figures provided by the Ministry of Health, the Jordan Tourism Board, and private hospitals, the number of medical tourists is increasing dramatically,” Hlalat added.

In 2022, the number of medical tourists visiting the Kingdom reached approximately 91,000. With combined efforts from the JHA and tourism authorities, “we are striving to achieve the projected target of around 230,000 medical tourists”, said Hlalat.

“To enhance medical tourism, the association has implemented a plan for 2023, with a key focus on electronic marketing through social media platforms like the ‘Visit Jordan Medical’ page, which boasts thousands of followers,” Hlalat added.

Additionally, Hlalat revealed that the development of the “Salamatk” platform is currently underway, with marketing campaigns being conducted in Palestine, Iraq and Algeria through outdoor billboards, radio and television.

Hlalat highlighted that these efforts aim to further boost medical tourism in Jordan. Moreover, this year, Jordan has been designated as the regional centre for medical and therapeutic tourism.


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