Medical Tourism in Iran
In 2003, After the new policy to boost medical tourism in Iran, the international patient department (IPD) was founded inside the Iran health ministry to help medical tourism companies like GOMED and hospitals provide better quality services for foreigners seeking medical assistance in Iran. Medical tourism in Iran has become a booming industry in the past decade. People from neighboring countries cross borders in search of better quality and lower prices for their medical treatments. Also, many people fly from Europe and North America for high-quality cosmetic surgery. Iran is now the medical tourism hub in West Asia and the middle east.
Medical tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in Iran and is estimated to contribute more than two billion dollars to its economy in 2021.
Faced with high healthcare costs at home, tourists from Europe, the US, Russia, and Arab countries fly to Iran to save up to 90 percent on the costs of treatments, especially for cosmetic surgeries in Iran.
Healthcare in Iran has grown and thrived in past decades, and the country now boasts several
state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics.
Medical tourism boomed in the last decade.
In recent decades, the number of people who travel to other countries for medical services has increased significantly. It is mostly because of:
- High medical costs in Western industrialized countries
- Lack of insurance coverage for cosmetic surgeries
- Development in medical technologies in destination countries
- High standard of medical services in destination countries
- Access to information on the internet and knowing about these improvements
- Easiness of international travel
- The depreciated value of the developing country’s currency
- The Internet may provide the best information about different destinations for patients for their needs; besides, medical tourism service providers facilitate planning and traveling.
What are popular medical tourism destinations?
There are several countries where patients prefer to travel to receive medical treatments. These countries include:
Iran is one of the popular destinations, especially for those who want to have a nose job or other cosmetic treatments. Iran offers cosmetic and medical treatments at lower costs and higher quality.
Turkey is among the popular medical destinations, especially for patients from Europe and Arabic countries. Turkey is especially famous for hair transplant surgery. Treatments in Turkey are affordable if compared to those in European countries.
Mexico is one of the favorable destinations for medical tourism for patients from the USA. This is mainly due to the low prices and the ease of traveling from the USA to Mexico.
Brazil is the home of the cosmetic butt lift, aka Brazilian butt lift. Brazilian surgeons are pretty experienced in this surgery and offer affordable prices.
Why is medical tourism booming in Iran?
Official records have shown that medical tourism in Iran is growing 15% annually on average. It is estimated to be worth more than 2 billion dollars in 2021 and more than 5 billion dollars in 2030.
In 2019, more than 500,000 tourists traveled to Iran to get medical care from neighboring countries and the Euro. It is safe to say that medical tourism in Iran is doing exceptionally well.
Advanced facilities, skilled surgeons, and low costs make Iran an ideal destination for medical travelers. Iran is now among the top ten medical tourism destinations.
The government is trying to help the industry with better and easier medical visa application processes and standardization of services to foreigners.
Why is Iran a preferred medical tourism destination?
Iran is one of the most popular destinations for cosmetic surgeries and other medical treatments, but why? Because:
- The low cost of treatment: It is the main reason many people cite their decision to go to Iran for their medical treatments and cosmetic surgeries. Figures show people can save up to 90% of their medical treatment costs compared to the prices in the US and other Western countries. Iran is the lowest-priced high-quality option for Westerners. While there is considerable variation, Turkey, Iran’s primary competitor, is approximately 50% more expensive while the South American and other medical tourism hubs weigh in at 50-100% more than Iran.
- Best services: Many people appreciate the superior service found in Iranian private clinics and hospitals. Whereas in the US and EU, many tasks are performed by orderlies, in the medical tourism destinations like Iran, there is a plentiful supply of registered nurses. In the West, a patient might be told where to go to collect medications or see another doctor, but a medical tourist in Iran can expect to be escorted by educated guides.
- High-quality treatments: It is natural to assume that if something is cheaper, it must be of lower quality, but for a well-planned medical trip to Iran, it is the opposite. When going to the US or EU average facility, you will undoubtedly get an ordinary doctor. But by choosing an excellent medical tourism facilitator in Iran, which will plan your trip carefully, you will inevitably have very experienced physicians – effectively, one of the bests that Iran has to offer.
- No waiting list: Even though Iran is a developing country, it provides immediate world-class standard medical services to medical travelers. Cosmetic surgeries are the most common surgeries that many Westerners come to Iran.
- Famous cosmetic surgeons: Iran has the most experienced cosmetic surgeons; many people fly tens of thousands of kilometers and change flights to get to Iran for the best rhinoplasty results.
Relaxing vacation: Some patients just want to kill two birds with one stone with the help of medical tourism. Here, they will have the treatment they need or want and have a good vacation.
Medical services in Iran
Iran is one of the most advanced countries in medical services in the middle east and West Asia. In some specialties like eye surgeries, cosmetic surgeries, and infertility treatment, Iranian doctors and surgeons are the most experienced surgeons. Private clinics and hospitals are also very modern and up-to-date in big cities like Tehran, Mashhad, and Shiraz. Iran is the hub of medical tourism in the middle east in cosmetic surgeries, infertility, and eye surgeries in West Asia.
Iran’s medical science history
There are lots of historical evidence showing the foundation of advanced health systems in Western countries is based on The Achaemenid Empire (an ancient Iranian empire) health and treatment system.
Iranian scientists have written the first comprehensive written documents on modern treatment methods, and advanced medical science owes the idea of contemporary (current) therapeutic approaches to reputable Iranian scientists such as Abu Ali Sina, Abouraihan Birooni, and Farabi. A search in historical documents shows that the age of medical tourism is as old as the medical treatment itself. People of civilized societies like Sumer, Babylon, Rome, Greece, and Iran knew about the healing advantages of natural mineral hot springs. Traveling to locations with these springs was the beginning of medical tourism.
Contemporary medical tourism
In the recent century, with improved medical facilities and easiness of travel, health tourism has entered a new phase; it has become a highly money-intensive industry. Because beauty has become more important for people nowadays, medical tourism services have experienced significant growth, especially for cosmetic reasons. Due to the high ability of Iranian physicians, especially in medical surgeries, and the affordability of medical costs, Iran has become a desirable destination for medical tourists.
Cosmetic surgery in Iran
The life of cosmetic surgery in Iran is ancient, and there is much evidence that ancient Iranian health experts performed surgeries for aesthetic reasons. Although many medical books and historical documents have been ruined by Arabs and Alexander’s attacks on Iran, some cases of reconstructive surgeries have been seen in ancient Persia. – The skull bone discovered in the Shahr-e-Sookhte of Zabul has an eye prosthesis. –
One century before Abu Ali Sina, a well-known Persian physician, Zakaria-Razi spoke about plastic surgery in his famous encyclopedia (Al-Havi), one of the wealthiest medical science sources. He had explained the method for nose surgery in his book. But the real birth of professional plastic surgery, which is seen today, dates back to the late 19th century.
The new generation of cosmetic surgeons in Iran
At the end of the 20th century, an eight-year war between Iran and Iraq took place, which left one million killed and several million wounded. This war caused a severe increase in the number of people in need of reconstructive surgical plastic surgeries, and this became a path to improve cosmetic surgery science and an increment in plastic surgeons’ experiences.
Dr. Siros Osanloo, known as the father of plastic surgery in Iran, taught a new generation of plastic surgeons. Many of his students today are among the most famous plastic surgeons in the world.
High experience of Iranian cosmetic surgeons
Nowadays, the number of plastic surgeons in Iran is about 300 compared to the US’s several thousand surgeons. On the other hand, the number of cosmetic surgeries performed in Iran is almost the same as the US. It’s an obvious comparison, Iranian surgeons perform cosmetic surgeries 10 to 15 times more than their US counterparts. That’s why Iranian Surgeons are so experienced and skilled, they have done it a lot. This distinct number, coupled with high demands for cosmetic surgeries, has caused a high level of ability and experience for Iranian plastic surgeons.
The risks of medical tourism
Traveling to another country to receive medical treatments does not come without risks. The main risk is getting bad results from having an inexperienced doctor perform the treatments for you. There can be other risks due to miscommunications because of the language barrier.
Another thing to be aware of regarding medical tourism is follow-up care. Many medical facilities do not offer their patients follow-up care after the treatments. Thus you can have some side effects and complications following the treatment.
How to reduce the risks of medical tourism?
The presence of some risks that may accompany medical tourism does not mean that medical tourism is always wrong and should be avoided. You can reduce the risks and have good results with good planning.
There are some simple and easy steps to plan a good treatment abroad. These steps include the following:
1- Do your homework beforehand
The first thing you need to do is know more about the treatment you are considering. This includes reading about the steps, risks, expectations, costs in the country you choose, etc. Then you should set a budget and have enough money to cover all the expenses in addition to some extra cash.
2- Contact a reputable medical tourism company
Planning everything by yourself in another country may not be the best idea for you. Keep in mind that you are a foreigner and do not know the best doctors and medical facilities in the country. Choosing a good medical tourism company will save you a lot of effort and help you get a good doctor and achieve better results from your treatment.
3- Check for online reviews and work samples when you choose a doctor
Most of the doctors who work in the medical tourism industry (especially those who work in cosmetic surgery) offer a gallery showing the results of former treatments. And most of them will have reviews from their former patients.
It would be good to choose a doctor with a good patient review and good work samples (for cosmetic procedures).
4- Ask for an online consultation before traveling
Many good medical tourism companies offer medical consultations before arranging the trip. Talk to the company about your expectations and tell them all about your current health conditions. If needed, provide them with some lab tests and photos.
GOMED for medical tourism in Iran
Iran is a great place to have high-quality treatments at lower costs. You will find some of the best doctors and surgeons in Iran, and you can expect to have great results from cosmetic treatments in the country.
All you need to do is contact GOMED, tell us what you need, and let us help arrange everything for you. GOMED will connect you with reliable doctors and guide you to good medical facilities in Iran.
Medical tourism can help you get the treatment you need at lower prices and good results with good planning. By considering the aforementioned step, you can rest assured that you will be safe and have good results from your treatment.