The Executive Manager of the Private Hospitals Association Mr. Samer Al Khuffash met on Monday, 26/3/2018, a delegation from the World Bank visiting Jordan to carry out a comprehensive analysis of some of the vital sectors in Jordan, including the private hospitals sector and its compliance with international standards and competitiveness.
The World Bank delegation included the specialist in the development of the private sector Sergei Osavolik, economic expert Sebastien Seiz and the consultant Patcher Gautz.
At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Al-Khuffash gave a presentation about the Private Hospitals Association, its mission, vision, goals and role in supporting the private hospitals sector to provide safe and integrated health care and international competition.
He said that in order to promote the medical tourism in the Kingdom, the association formed a consortium supported by USAID Jordan's competitive program, which participates in several conferences and exhibitions organized in targeted countries and host delegations from these countries to inform them about the advanced health services in Jordan, pointing out that the government began support and encourage medical tourism in the Kingdom.
He added that Jordan has received about 250 thousand patients from around the world for several years annually, but this number has declined since the beginning of 2016 by 30-40 percent due to the political conflicts in the region since 2011 and government restrictions on granting visas to patients from the restricted countries. However, he noted that the government recently approved the association’s recommendations to facilitate the entry procedures for these patients.
He said that the medical tourism revenues were about 1.2 billion dollars annually and that there are reasons to encourage the patients to come to Jordan for medical treatment which include the good medical reputation, advanced treatment services, competitive prices, availability of a large number of private hospitals equipped with the latest medical technology, in addition to doctors and nursing staff with high qualifications and competencies. He pointed out that a large number of Jordanian specialists graduated from United States, Britain, Germany, France, Canada and many other European universities .
He added that many private hospitals have obtained the JCI and national accreditation (HCAC), and the investment in this sector is encouraging, fruitful and is considered to be one of the highest value added sectors.
Responding to a question about the challenges facing the private hospitals sector, Mr. Al Khuffash said that the most prominent of these challenges are the high operating costs, taxes, high electricity bill and the competition between Jordan and other countries in the field of medical tourism.
He said that the prices of treatment in the Jordanian private hospitals are approved by the Ministry of Health but have not changed since 2008, adding that the Private Hospitals Association is making efforts with the Ministry of Health to amend them, pointing out that even if these prices are adjusted, it will be still competitiveness with the other competing countries.