ICHHTO has issued licenses to 14 medical tourism agencies. The schemes are aimed at eliminating unauthorized middlemen who exploit the lack of management in this key sector and create a negative image for Iran.
As part of plans to develop the country’s health tourism, Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) has issued licenses to 14 tourism agencies that operate in the sector.
Morteza Rahmani Movahed, at ICHHTO, explains that this is the first step in training people and companies in health tourism, "With health tourism showing promising growth, training programmes for industry players are coming. The Health Ministry has been put in charge of organizing educational programmes in association with the Health Tourism Development. Every person involved in the sector, including doctors, nurses and travel agents, should undergo a specialised training course before they can work in the sector. The schemes are aimed at eliminating unauthorized middlemen who exploit the lack of management in this key sector and create a negative image for Iran."
The first health tourism-training workshop will be in collaboration with the Iran University of Medical Sciences.
The ministry has also authorised 98 hospitals to admit international patients. These 98 hospitals were granted IPD (International Patients Department) permits. 299 hospitals had applied for the license, but many were refused authorisation.
The Foreign Ministry plans to issue health tourism visas to help the sector by making medical travel simpler.