Saeed Hosseini is a graduate of political philosophy and medical sciences. A decade ago, he pursued his primary concern with creating a strong, civilized institution in the field of health tourism so that all stakeholders in this profession could maximize the impact of a national project on governance.
Mr Hosseini has significant research and experience in handling various events to inform the target community of health tourism in his professional career. Now he manages Iran Health Tourism Organizer (IRHTO), which implements services in the field of health tourism in a different context.
He has pursued a model in which intermediaries who are brokered in the marketplace are also embroiled in the business of creating value, having a professional and responsible business opportunity.
We discussed with him the executive model of health tourism and how it is networked in the current structure of Iranian business.
Despite the good price, there are gaps in the health tourism chain of Iran, for example, insurances generally do not cover health tourism. Legal challenges may also arise from international patients, transportation and even the basic needs of the patient’s companions must be completely transparent. What solutions are visualised in IRHTO model?
The IRHTO tariffs provided to international patients clearly state all levels of medical and travel charges.
Medical tariffs, accommodation, tickets and transfers and such as interpreter services and so on can be fully calculated. Online treatment applicants can order any of these services they need and receive them on a set tariff.
All services, except the subject of treatment, which is the reason for the patient’s visit to Iran, are covered by insurance. The insurance covers all unforeseen events, including medical liability and medical errors during treatment.
Medical insurance coverage for Iranian nationals is quite possible.
But it’s not easy for foreigners. He should go to a consulate, which is usually a complicated and time-consuming process.
IRHTO has been able to find a solution to potential legal challenges. We use reputable law firms. The patient under our contract can submit all documentation of possible physician error to this organization. The opinion of these legal entities is acceptable as a judgment.
What specific marketing methods do you consider source markets to attract international patients?
We will be attending several international and regional events. In Iranian health tourism, we consider networking. What we do is integrated marketing. Promotion on virtual networks and specialized media in the region will be our top priority.
Our presence in regional events such as Iraq and Oman will be in the form of reference groups and influencers, and we will provide independent packages for hospital participation so that patients can be centrally guided to each health centre based on their characteristics.
Various medical committees of IRHTO participate in regional events such as Iraq and Oman. In these events, independent treatment packages from Iranian medical centres and hospitals will be presented based on their own capabilities.
What have you done to attract international patients so far?
Thanks to the 10 – year research enterprise, IRHTO is now in a position to attract international patients online.
Our main goal is marketing internationally. Because of our physician-oriented approaches, 30% of patients introduced to the Iranian market by doctors from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
These physicians are familiar with the Iranian treatment environment, have been senior assistants to Iranian physicians, or have undergone Fellowship courses in Iran.
The rest is absorbed through facilitators or local entities. All IRHTO partners are required to record patient information online. We have been able to make good use of local capacities, especially border Residents, to meet patients needs accordingly.
How attractive is Iran’s health tourism capacity to Europeans come to Iran?
Iran is a land of four seasons and at the same time has special natural features such as desert, hot springs and spas. This unique climate provides the perfect conditions for recreation time. With new technologies, salt treatment, water treatment, sludge treatment have made Iranian health tourism special. In cosmetic surgeries such as the nose, hair transplant, liposuction and other types of reconstructive surgery, dentistry, height enhancement, … Iran is ranked among the top three countries in the world due to its highly specialized and world-renowned physicians and well-equipped hospitals and clinics.
It should be emphasized, however, that these services are offered at less than a tenth of Europe and the US and a quarter cheaper than Asian countries and Iran’s neighbours, which has made Iran a top destination for health tourism.
IRHTO has designed a unique travel package for European tourists by providing a unique healthcare package including legal support, insurance and transparent financial transactions (via debit card or bank card).