Medical tourism is rapidly becoming a worldwide, multibillion-dollar industry. Iran is one of the countries that has witnessed a growing trend in this field. In recent years, the privilege of traveling to Iran and specifically Mashhad for health care services has become accessible to many people benefiting them in variety of ways. The reasons patients travel to Mashhad for treatment vary, one of the most important factors is the low cost of treatment stemming from a sharp decline in the Iranian currency in recent years.
There are many benefits to choosing Mashhad as a medical tourism destination, from the affordable treatments and high-quality customer services to a wide range of tourist attractions. There are many experienced and skilled surgeons as well as professional service providers (medical tourism companies) preparing the ground for high quality treatments.
Mashhad is Iran’s second largest city which was once an important transit city along the Silk Road. It is also known as the home of Iran’s largest religious shrine, is considered as a medical hub and a popular destination for medical tourists due to many reasons including its cultural, historical and religious attractions, large number of public and private hospitals equipped with diagnostic and medical facilities as well as experienced and reputed physicians and medical staff and quality of services.
Treatments in Mashhad are comparable with those offered in advanced countries for health tourism and have specialists for orthopedics, cosmetic surgery and dental treatments with prices far lower than other countries. It is estimated that by travelling to Mashhad, patients can save up to 50%.
Factors highlighting the significance of medical tourism are the high cost of healthcare in industrialized and developed countries, the increased ease of international trips, favorable exchange rate of currency in the global economy, rapid advances of medical technology and healthcare standards in most countries, internet access, inaccessibility of specific services in the country of origin, paucity of insurance coverage for certain services in the country of origin, waiting lists, confidentiality and privacy pertaining to services such as cosmetic and plastic surgeries, infertility treatment, trans-gender surgery, family visit, affordable international shipping costs, emergence of new companies. Medical tourism services bring significant benefits to the destination countries.
Mashhad’s extensive network of public clinics and hospitals are considerably cheaper than other cities of Iran. Most public hospital facilities in Iran are operated by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Although waiting times are often long, public hospitals provide an acceptable standard of service.
Wealthier Iranians and tourists use private clinics and hospitals in Mashhad which offer a higher quality of care and better facilities while it is very cheap in comparison to other cities of Iran.
Although there is a marginal difference between the quality of healthcare offered by private and public hospitals in Mashhad, private hospitals are known to have better facilities and faster services. English-speaking staff is available in both private and public hospitals.
Some of the most famous public and private hospitals of Mashhad are as follows: