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Medical tourism conference concludes with 'Amman Declaration'

Participants call for expanding sector's scope in Jordan to include 'Health Travel 8'

By JT - Mar 04,2017 - Last updated at Mar 04,2017

The Cabinet has endorsed a new process for issuing visas for Sudanese and Yemeni nationals to enter the Kingdom, in a bid to promote the medical tourism sector (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The Global Healthcare Travel Forum (GHTF) has endorsed the "Amman Declaration" that seeks to expand the scope of medical tourism sector in Jordan to eight internationally recognised segments.

Known as the Health Travel 8 (HT8), the segments include traditional medical tourism, dental tourism, spa tourism, wellness tourism, sport tourism, culinary tourism, accessible tourism and assisted residential tourism, which serves visitors with diseases or disabilities.

Held in Amman last week, the GHTF witnessed the participation of over 650 participants from 41 countries.

Private Hospitals Association (PHA) President Fawzi Hammouri said the conference was a chance to promote Jordan as a destination for medical tourism.

The forum witnessed signing several agreements between a number of medical institutions and service providers.

Participants at the GHTF discussed several issues regarding the industry, including service quality, centres of excellence, accessibility, new medical tourism patterns and challenges facing the sector.

Last Wednesday, the Cabinet endorsed a new process for issuing visas for Sudanese and Yemeni nationals to enter the Kingdom, in a bid to promote the medical tourism sector.

Airlines will be required to provide lists of names of Yemenis wishing to enter Jordan to the Interior Ministry, which will issue visas and security clearances within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Sudanese over 50 years old and in possession of at least $5,000 will be granted entry at border crossings. They will be allowed no more than two accompanying persons.

In response to the loosened regulations, Hammouri said the move was “very positive” and would help the sector attract some patients that found easier procedures in competing destinations, including India, Tunisia and Turkey.

But he said the age limit for Sudanese patients remains restrictive.

Hammouri noted that the PHA had requested from the government to follow similar measures to the ones taken by the Egyptian government, whereby women, children under 15 and men above 50 were exempted from the visa requirement.

But keeping the visa condition for Yemenis is “good and helpful”, the sector leader said. 


In previous remarks, Hammouri said that restricting some Arab nationalities from entering the Kingdom for treatment had resulted in a decline in numbers in the past two years. This drop reached 80 per cent among Libyans, 50 per cent among Yemenis and 48 per cent among Sudanese.

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