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Iran Health Tourism Portal
OIC Sec Gen Message to 3rd Conference on Health Tourism in Mashhad

The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, on 18 December 2012, said that health tourism should not be something that only the wealthy can afford, but rather universal and affordable by all categories of our populations.

He added that health gains can be maximized when health tourism is pitched not only at the high-end of the tourist market, but is mainstreamed across that market. This came as part of Ihsanoglu’s message to the 3rd Conference on Health Tourism in the Islamic Countries held in Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 18 – 19 December 2012.

The Secretary General also said that he was particularly encouraged by the emerging trend at the Conference, whereby local and regional partnerships were developing with the participation of the public and private sectors becoming well pronounced.

Ihsanoglu reiterated that promoting health is at the heart of OIC policy, pointing out that the OIC had carried out, under the Science and Technology Department, a number of programmes and activities aimed at empowering Member States to provide quality health services to their citizens. But he noted: ‘[w]e are however, aware that our Member States are at different levels of development and while some are able to cater for the health needs of their nationals, it is quite a different case with many others. This is where this noble idea of promoting health tourism within our own Member States becomes relevant for many of the citizens of our Member States who usually find themselves with no choice but to seek medical services outside their places of regular domicile and, more often than not, they opt for the Western countries or countries such as India, South Africa, Thailand and China.’

The Secretary General explained that the concept of “health” involves more than just mere treatment of diseases as it implies general well-being of people. This in turn will spur the Member States to develop the necessary infrastructure and provide the requisite resources. He also noted that the availability of a health and wellness infrastructure will ultimately be an important criterion for choosing a holiday destination, which fits well in the overall economic agenda of the OIC of fostering economic and social development of its Member States.

Source: OIC

Source of News : Iqna
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