DEAD SEA — The high quality of Jordan’s healthcare services and facilities are among the reasons that helped the country become one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world, local and international health experts said on Sunday.

Prem Jagyasi, a global healthcare expert, said that although some countries in the region provide healthcare services for lower fees than in Jordan, there are other important factors that prompt patients from across the globe to choose the Kingdom.

“Accessibility and support of the government through facilitating visa issuance, and security are among these reasons”, Jagyasi said at the opening of the International Medical Tourism Congress yesterday.

He explained that although the Kingdom is surrounded by regional unrest, “the country is safe and this is one of the factors that medical tourists look into when selecting their destination”.

Abdullah Bashir, president of Jordan Hospital, which is affiliated with the Private Hospitals Association (PHA), said a study conducted by the association in 2011 proved that the Kingdom is also distinguished in the success rate of different critical medical procedures conducted by Jordanian medics.

According to figures he presented, the success rate for conducting in vitro fertilisation in Jordan is 60 per cent, while it stands at 99 per cent for general percutaneous coronary artery intervention.

In addition, the rate of patient satisfaction with procedures conducted in the Kingdom is 90 per cent.

More than 350 participants from 25 countries are attending the two-day conference, organised by the PHA.

In his address at the opening session yesterday, PHA President Awni Bashir attributed the Kingdom’s distinction in the medical tourism field to the presence of qualified and trained medics who have had the opportunity to study at the world’s best health centres.

He also pledged that private hospitals will maintain their reasonable prices to remain “a regional hub for medical tourism”.

Renee-Marie Stephano, president of the US Medical Tourism Association, said Jordan is moving towards change and is continuing to rise in the field of medical tourism.

She noted that the Kingdom has adopted several procedures to be distinguished in the field, including the establishment of the Health Care Accreditation Council, as 100 per cent of buyers believe that accreditation is important.

Jordan ranked first in the region and fifth globally as a medical tourism destination, according to a 2009/2010 World Bank report. The medical tourism sector annually generates over $1 billion in revenues and the number of foreign patients seeking treatment in the Kingdom stands at over 240,000 per year.