Medical tourism to Jordan expanding
The Kingdom’s medical tourism sector expanded in 2011, the Private Hospitals Association (PHA) announced on Sunday.
PHA figures made available to The Jordan Times showed that 240,000 visitors came to the Kingdom last year either to receive treatment in private hospitals or to accompany a patient, compared to 220,000 in 2010.
Previous PHA figures showed that the sector brought in 220,000 visitors in 2009, 200,000 in 2008, and 190,000 in 2007.
The PHA last year repeatedly warned that regional unrest was hurting medical tourism in Jordan, and announced in January that the number of medical tourists had fallen to 180,000 in 2011.
It now appears, however, that turmoil in the Middle East has brought more business to the sector, not less.
PHA Executive Director Abdullah Hindawi on Sunday attributed the increase in the revised figures to the influx of injured patients from regional countries that witnessed civil conflict last year, particularly Libya.
Hindawi noted that 58,000 Libyans came to Jordan for medical care in 2011, while Palestinian, Iraqi, Sudanese and Yemeni patients made up the bulk of the remainder.
In a previous statement, PHA President Fawzi Hammouri said the association’s figures only include inpatients and that the number of outpatients, if calculated, might double the total figure.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the matter told The Jordan Times that Libya’s outstanding dues to the Kingdom’s hospitals are expected to be paid after the formation of the new Libyan government within two weeks.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the outstanding debts stood at JD120 million as of August 31