Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, Prime Minister Hani Mulqi Saturday opened the Global Healthcare Travel Forum under the theme “Globalization of Healthcare”, which is organised by the Private Hospitals Association in cooperation with the Global Healthcare Travel Council (GHTC), currently headed by Jordan.
The opening ceremony was attended by HH Princess Ghaida Talal, chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, and HH Princess Dina Mired, President of the Union for International Cancer Control, as well as ministers, parliament members, heads of diplomatic missions and hospital directors.
The three-day gathering of more than 500 sector representatives from about 40 countries aims to highlight Jordan as a premium global healthcare travel hub and a key destination for many Arab and foreign nationals.
In opening remarks, Mulki conveyed the King’s wishes to the conference to achieve the aspired-for goals, stressing medical tourism, not only as a healthcare sector, but a key contributor to the national economy and to many other sectors.
He said the Kingdom had built an integrated healthcare system, which was second to none, through investment in national human resources and continued cooperation between the Health Ministry, Royal Medical Services and university and private hospitals. Over the last decades, Mulki pointed out, the Kingdom had become a role model with tremendous achievements in the various sectors, namely healthcare, which had made major leaps despite limited resources and the difficult conditions in the region.
Jordan, he said, had maintained its stability and resilience as it weathered the wars and catastrophes surrounding it, forged ahead with comprehensive political, economic and social reforms and made long strides to become a bright spot that won it admiration by all.
The prime minister commended the “noble services by our doctors and hospitals to Jordanian and Arab and foreign patients”, and hailed the Private Hospitals Association for marketing the Kingdom as a distinguished healthcare and medical travel destination at global forums.
He pledged to take down all barriers and take various measures to promote the country’s healthcare status, support investment, expand the health sector and sign international agreements in that respect in order to build on achievements. HH Princess Ghaida said that, thanks to its Hashemite leadership’s vision of development and modernisation, Jordan had become a leading healthcare model, stressing the need to upgrade medical service to patients and maintain excellence.
She said that the Al Hussein Cancer Centre had in 15 years gained the most important international accreditations as a specialised cancer treatment facility offering treatment to patients from Jordan and Arab countries according to the highest international standards.
Minister of Health Mahmoud Sheyab said the health sector, which had the direct support of His Majesty King Abdullah, had in the last years made quantum leaps that gained it its reputation at the local, regional and international levels. He noted the highly-qualified human resources, internationally-accredited hospitals and medical centres and their low-cost treatment.
The minister said the medical accountability legislation is in the process for endorsement by parliament.
Private Hospital Association and GHTC president, Fawzi Al-Hammouri, said healthcare travel is a key economic sector, noting that studies pointed that medical tourism around the world accounts for over $100 billion annually with a growth rate of 5 per cent, which prompted more world nations to endeavour to become healthcare destinations.
“We look through hosting and organising this forum in Amman to put the spotlight on the enormous potentials and the many qualities of the Jordanian medical sector”, said Hamouri, noting the Kingdom’s qualified medical and nursing cadres and its friendly investment climate which encourages investment in the private hospital sector, which accounts for 60 per cent of the county’s hospitals.
The Global Healthcare Travel Forum’s agenda includes a host of topics, including global medical tourism destinations, legislations, regulations and accreditation, buyers and patients perspective, excellence in medical care and medical tourism education and research, medical tourism marketing and branding and expanding the scope of healthcare travel.