Category : News
Publish Date :1399/02/20 - 16:14
Code :13

Is the doctor's job treatment or tourist attraction?

The head of the Association of Travel and Air Services Offices criticized the direct intervention of some ministries in tourism and questioned the monopoly on health tourism, urging the Ministry of Health to abandon direct involvement in health tourism.

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Harmatullah Rafi'i told ISNA: "Health tourism is not only struggling with the problem of brokerage, but also other government departments have suffered as a result of the interventions."
He continued: "The Ministry of Health has entered the field of health tourism and will not go together." If any organization or ministry is going to monopolize a corner of tourism, it might be better to disband the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. The Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization, which is in charge of pilgrimage and religious tourism, the Ministry of Sports is also in charge of sports tourism, and nature tourism also interferes with the environment. With this situation, why should tourism have a separate organization and why 4500 travel agencies have been licensed.
He said: "Is health tourism limited to treatment and hospitalization, which the Ministry of Health has entered into so much?" If their justification is to deal with the patient's medical affairs, then they should no longer carry the title of tourism and should not abuse it. Health tourism has different branches. Everyone who does not end up in treatment and hospital has different types.
Rafiei then raised the question of whether the Ministry of Health would allow agencies to interfere in the field of hospitalization and treatment. He added: "The principled way is for the agency to attract patients and tourists and deliver them to hospitals and medical centers, and then continue to provide services to them, but why do hospitals and doctors attract foreign patients directly, while providing services?" Travel is not at their disposal at all, and they only make the patient dissatisfied and complain. Why should the organization of the medical system form a company and an international health tourism association, who licenses these organizations?
The chairman of the board of directors of the Association of Travel and Air Services Offices continued: "These criticisms have been raised in a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was attended by representatives of other departments. The ministry also believes in organizing and interfering with monopolies and interventions." Represent the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. Even the security services have agreed to this.
Asked why, despite many objections in recent years to the issue of brokerages and the direct recruitment of foreign patients in hospitals and by some doctors, these activities have not yet been stopped and the most important obstacle to health tourism has always been mentioned. It is less powerful than other sectors in government.
Regarding the criticism that Oman made during the visit of the Iranian Tourism Board to Muscat, about the dissatisfaction of Omani patients with health tourism services, he said: "These statements are not true. We are transparent with Oman." During that trip, we talked to each other very clearly. Our problem with some tourism markets is the strong presence of brokers and intervenors.
Rafiei added: "It's been a year and a half since we seriously entered the Oman market. Before that, there were only three flights a week between the two countries, but now it has reached 30 flights a week." Previously, flights between Tehran and Muscat were not direct, and existing flights were operated to several destinations between Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Hong Kong, but now about 95% of flights are operated directly between the two countries.
He also claimed that Oman flights are often operated at full capacity, adding that this indicates the level of tourism interaction between the two countries and their satisfaction.

Reporter Somayeh Hassanlou
Secretary Alireza Bahrami