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My trip to Iran went beyond my expectations

This documentary film shows a medical tourist named Cecilia who made a trip from Norway to Iran for rhinoplasty as well as a cosmetic dental procedure. The film was produced by AriaMedTour to depict the whole process of its provision of services to foreign health tourists. In this video, Cecilia is filmed from the time she arrived at the airport until she left Iran for Norway, having complete satisfaction of her experience with AriaMedTour.

Our Dear Guests

Our biggest asset is the trust of our customers. We have been striving hard since the beginning of our operation to provide the best services to those who have trusted us as a medical tourism company. Some of our patients were willing to share their experiences of their medical travel to Iran with you. Here you can watch only a handful of our patients’ testimonials and read their stories.

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Cecilia from Norway Plastic Surgeries

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Kevin from USA Nose Job

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Kersti from Finland Breast Augmentation

“Iran is really amazing. It is really calm, peaceful, and beautiful. I’m amazed by how people are so kind and helpful.”

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Iurri from Ukraine Nose Job

“I was very surprised about the quality. The service was really excellent.”

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Daria from Russia Revision Rhinoplasty

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Florian from Germany Hair Transplant

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Ahmed from Denmark Plastic Surgeries

“Iranian surgeons are more experienced than European surgeons in performing rhinoplasty.”

“Iranian surgeons are more experienced than European surgeons in performing…”

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“I’m grateful to my surgeon. He is really good and I’m really pleased with the big change.”

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  • Iran J Public Health
  • v.48(7); 2019 Jul

Medical Tourism in Iran, Reevaluation on the New Trends: A Narrative Review


This narrative review aimed to reevaluate the medical tourism sector in Iran to reveal the new trends and activities in order to know the current actual share of Iran in the competitive market of global medical tourism.

A holistic approach was adopted to analyze the information collected through a system of investigation that comprised the available secondary data, besides the information and statistical data about the associated organizations to this sector in Iran.

Iran’s medical tourism sector is consistent with the new trends in global market, which is mainly bordered countries-based, cultural-oriented, and diasporic type of travelling.


It would be more realistic in the contemporary situation to focus the promotions on the border countries, and design the policy, and implementation in accordance with their cultural and social preferences. Activities in both levels of governmental and micro-level planning are demanded, under the cover of a comprehensive monitoring system. This review will benefit researchers exploring the updated evaluation of Iran’s medical tourism; also, it provides helpful insights to authorities in both governmental and private sector.


Investigating the main trends and mechanism of the medical tourism sector, have been lately announced globally as a necessity due to the fast-growing changes and diverse information from around the world. The data for medical tourism are revolving globally.

Lately, the pioneers of medical tourism reported that this sector is ‘relatively short distance, cross border and diasporic’ ( 1 ). In the latest report by ‘International Medical Travel Journal’ (IMTJ) ( 2 ), also, the new transformations in this sector are announced. Based on this report in 2018, regional or domestic medical travel makes the greater proportion, and medical tourists are no longer seeking out the cheapest destination ( 2 ). However, the ‘ease and affordability of international travel’ are still among the pull factors for medical travelers besides the improvements in technology and standards of care. In this report, the failure of several medical tourism projects makes this alarm for the authorities who are tending to develop medical tourism in their organizations/countries. It is estimated that the annual number of medical travelers worldwide is 5.5 million and the value of medical travel expenditure is US$10–15 billion ( 2 ). Medical tourism is estimated to be an industry with a value of $100 billion dollars in future ( 3 ).

Despite the considerable development and industry growth, we know very little about the mechanism of medical tourism in Iran. Most of the available researches are based on the previous knowledge of medical tourism, in spite of the contemporary revolving system. Iran has been popular for doing the treatment during the travel ( 4 ), especially family travel from Gulf countries to Shiraz and Mashhad, two cities in Iran ( 5 ). However, Based on the MTI (medical tourism index), Iran is not among the 30 destination countries evaluated in 2016 ( 3 ). Among the very diverse information and figures, once, Iran has been reported as the 10th top country in terms of the value in medical tourism, by IMTJ ( Table 1 ).

Top ten medical tourism destinations, based on value and numbers

Source: Medical travel and tourism market briefing, 2018 ( 2 )

Iran was considered the Middle East’s top tourist destination during the period 1967–1977. The political changes in the following years affected the international inbound tourism to Iran, and the balance has shifted away from Western sources to -mostly- religious tourism from other Muslim countries ( 6 ). Table 2 comprises the amount of capital investment in tourism by three countries in the region, which represents the investment by Iran as, relatively insignificant. There are two major challenges, which also affect the medical tourism sector: ‘Iran’s negative image in the West, and lack of resources to tackle this negative discourse’ ( 7 ).

Capital investment in tourism Iran vs. UAE/Turkey

Source: World Travel and Tourism Council (2014)

Several competitive advantages, meanwhile, are listed for Iran’s medical tourism, ranging from “the valuable medical resources, infrastructure and medical skills” to “cultural and social similarities with the border countries”, besides “religion-based factors”, and also a considerable number of Iranian living in foreign counties, who prefer to travel back to their country of origin for treatments (diasporic tourist) ( 8 ). It is projected that by the perspective of the year 1400 (2021), 550000 foreign patients will visit Iran, and it will lead to 2750000 dollar income and creating 392857 direct and indirect job opportunities ( 9 ).

However, all these projections for the future are ‘unrealistic expectations’ ( 10 ) since there are several barriers to reach the claimed points. More important though, are some missed factors that can potentially lead to the development and promotion in more realistic pathaway. Investigation regarding the actual information and mechanism has been limited and narrow in scope, and based on the former beliefs in medical tourism arena. Offering new policy and planning in accordance with the new changes would not be possible and effective, unless a comprehensive inquiry is provided.

Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the contemporary situation of medical tourism sector in Iran in order to provide new insights based on the updated medical tourism system in the world. To be more, specific, the objective was to investigate the situation based on the secondary data and the available statistical information, with the aim of evaluating this sector in accordance with the new changes. The implication of this research can assist managers in both governmental and private sector in Iran to arrange their policy and strategies based on the global updates in medical tourism sector.

This study is a narrative review based on the available secondary data, besides the information and statistical data about the medical tourism sector in Iran. A holistic approach was taken into account for the analysis of Iran’s contemporary situation as a medical tourism destination.

In November 2018, we searched the well-known academic publication databases. We also manually searched the bibliographies of key articles in well-known journals. Table 3 , represents the information and contents of the published scholarly articles about the medical tourism in Iran, so far. We collected and studied every single article, and rewrote the main concepts of each, and then the articles were given different categories based on the type of research.

Published scholarly articles on medical tourism in Iran

The available information on the website and country profile of IMTJ was totally studied, because this database aims to create a central focus for information, resources and opinion on medical travel, and has a profile of specific information for each country; also, it presents discussion and articles for each country.

Besides, the Google search engine was used to obtain narratives, news, blog posts, links and associated organizations’ websites on medical tourism in Iran, both in English and Farsi.

Eventually, we tried to classify the collected information and present a logical explanation and interpretation of the contemporary situation, both in the research arena and in reality.

The results of the investigations are presented in two different sections: published articles, and collected information. The first section provides a comprehensive view and deduction on the published articles and represents the actual contemporary situation of how medical tourism has been evaluated by scholars.

The second section comprises several subtitles that provide the updated information and the associated interpretations.

Published Articles

Even though most of the articles have tended to investigate the opportunities and challenges of medical tourism sector in Iran, there are very few articles published in well-known international journals, and we are facing lack of the research that presents reliable data collection and analysis on the contemporary situation, both qualitative and quantitative.

However, there are number of researches that present very helpful insights for authorities and could, so far add to the literature. Nevertheless, the main general output of these articles are as follows:

  • A comprehensive managerial solution is required in Iran’s medical tourism section, in which the strategic plan can be suggested for development;
  • There are several organizations active in medical tourism, and what is highly required is to design a system of coordination between these sections;
  • In order to control the illegal activities of some people and organizations (especially the brokers), designing a centralized service can potentially address many shortages;
  • Even though a centralized managerial system (policy) has been mentioned, the importance of having macro planning was not forgiven by researchers. It is critical since it will lead to development;
  • In many pieces of research, local strategies are provided based on the province, which seems helpful in some cases and can assist the managers, however in some articles solutions are presented in a very general form and are somehow duplication of the familiar challenges in the previous publications;
  • The image of Iran is not acceptable enough in the mass media to convince tourists to visit Iran, and it might be because of lack of the appropriate contents in the hospitals’ websites, and researchers called for a systematic promotional plan;
  • Training and having skillful healthcare practitioners was a matter mentioned in many pieces of research. It ranged from English professions or Arabic in some cases, to interaction competencies;
  • The role of healthcare providers was considered more powerful than the other services. The direct interaction of doctor-patients makes it very critical and effective in terms of the satisfaction and eventually the success of the whole service.

Collected Information

Medical tourism in iran.

The IMTJ, reports annual statistics and information for each country that offers medical tourism. We mainly based our search on their information, as a globally reliable database. The other information is collected from governmental and private websites in Persian.

Iran with the majority of Shi’a sect population, is located in the Middle East, and is surrounded by Muslim countries. Many cities of this country have been historically famous as a tourist destination in the region, specifically, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd and Mashhad. To be more specific, the cultural and social similarities, besides the familiar family backgrounds caused the border countries citizens to choice Iran as their destination ( 5 ). The popularity of Iranian health practitioners in the region and the qualified medical facilities has been another main reason for Iran to be considered as a medical tourism destination ( 5 , 9 ); Religion, also, has been always an effective factor to attract tourists and medical tourists from the border countries; in terms of fertility treatment, which has different rules in Shi’a and Sunni branches ( 29 ), and in a practical research in Isfahan, 94% of the participants (foreign patients) were Shi’a Muslim and other 6% were Sunni Muslim, with the country of origin of, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in order ( 4 ).

Iran also offers several other comparative advantages, including low-cost healthcare system, successful performance of surgical procedures ( 30 ) (especially transplantation of liver, heart, eye treatments, fertility), and up-to-date medical technology and natural healing regions ( 9 ).

Managerial Structure

Both private and public sectors are active in medical tourism sector in Iran. There is a ‘Health Tourism Council’, under the covering of the Ministry of Health, formed in 2015, which comprises representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), and Iran Medical Council. The primary task of this council is to ‘review and approve regulations that directly affect hospitals catering to foreign patients, and also the travel agencies’ ( 31 ). In addition, it is their authority to evaluate and issue the IPD (International Patient Department) certificate for hospitals, in which hospitals are allowed to admit foreign patients. The Ministry of Health has been in charge of organizing education programs. In 2016, the first steps in training people and companies were taken into account. This ministry also has developed 6 mandatory guidelines for those medical centers that aim to provide services for foreign patients, including ‘the general condition of the facility, the workforce, medical facilities, geographical location, operational conditions, and the content of websites’. They further offer facilities to hospitals, such as marketing and training ( 32 ).

Lately, well-structured and private organizations started working and offering different services as authorized brokers and service providers. Such services caused development in the sector since they could fulfil the requirements of foreign patients specifically in accordance with their cultural and social background and their linguistic preferences.

Fact and figures

Unfortunately, the annual statistics regarding the number of medical tourists entering Iran are unavailable. There are several reasons, that we classified them in 4 categories: 1) Due to the lack of a systematic recording system for the foreign patients in country; 2) Even though, some statistics are available, yet there are many unauthorized organizations and persons that are not counted in the statistical data; 3) In some cases ‘diasporic tourists’ (traveling their country of origin for treatment, and a remarkable number of Iranian are living in foreign countries) also are counted in this information, which make the data untrustworthy; 4) Also another problem is the confusion between the meaning of medical tourism and health tourism, the figure also include those people going to hot and cold springs ( 33 ).

The number of foreign patients: Accurate statistics are accessible from 2004 and 2005, in those years 12,000 and 17,500 patients were treated, respectively ( 14 ). Iran had nearly 30.00 foreign patients in 2012, and this has gone up to almost 200.000 in 2015 ( 34 ). In 2016, Iran had 105,000 health and medical tourists ( 10 ). According to Iran’s Medical Tourism Department, official statistics confirm over 300.000 foreign patients during the 2017–2018 (Iranian calendar year 1397–1398). According to Iran document 1404 (2025), it is predicted that 1,400,000 people will be attracted to medical tourism ( 14 ). In addition, it is projected to attract around 550.000 medical tourists every year ( 35 ), but this is also unrealistic due to the several reasons, mentioned in the following sections.

Country of origin and the destination cities: Foreign patients generally came from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the main destinations were Mashhad and Tehran ( 35 ). In accordance with Iran’s governmental report, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Oman sent the most number of patients to Iran in 2017 ( 36 ).

The number of active organizations: Regarding the number of the authorized active organizations, in 2016 the Ministry of Health has authorized 98 hospitals to admit international patients (IPD). In 2017, the numbers of hospitals have increased, taking the total to 170.

Economic revenue: Iran’s annual revenue from medical tourism is between $400 and $500 million, announced by ICHHTO, while the target is to reach $2.5 billion. Each person spends between $3.600 and $500 million every trip ( 33 ).

The Ministry of Health believes that Iran has the capacity to earn $7 billion in medical and health tourism, though the real data is less than $1 billion ( 37 ). However, the target is unrealistic and the figure is not going to happen claimed by a member of Iranian Ministry of Health ( 10 ).

Push and Pull Factors on Iran’s Medical Tourism Sector

Fig. 1 was designed based on the collected secondary data, articles presented in Table 1 , and the interpretations by IMTJ. Opportunities in Iran’s medical tourism are presented based on the push factors in nearby countries and the pull factors available and offered in Iran.

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Object name is IJPH-48-1191-g001.jpg

Opportunities in Iran’s medical tourism.

Designed by authors, information collected from the secondary data

In addition to some general factors, which motivate all groups of international medical tourists (such as price, distance, lack of expertise, and tourist attractions), there are additional important factors in Iran’s medical tourism sector. Offering ‘medical service based on the religious belief’ (cultural and social familiarity) is one main factor, and another factor, which specifically influences infertile couples’ destination choices is the ‘qualified infertility treatment’ which is offered in Iran, unlike the border countries ( 4 ).

Associated Problems to Iran’s Medical Tourism

As noted in Table 3 , many researchers have tended to clarify the associated barriers to the development of medical tourism. Here, we tried to classify the shortages and problems in the following categories:

The activity of the middleman (brokers): Their role is critical and vital for medical tourism in Iran since the sector was started in the country through their activities in promoting trust. However, these days the unlicensed brokers are believed to be Iran’s biggest issue in medical tourism ( 38 ). There is a need for ‘eliminating unauthorized middleman’ as it is believed that they create a negative image for Iran ( 39 ) rather promotion. This problem can be solved through monitoring and the harmonization of the prices and services, and it can prevent the potential upcoming risks for both the patients and the image of the country.

Comprehensive policy and monitoring system: Even though, the managerial system has been mentioned several times as a shortage, it should be noted that the problem is not just to set and review the regulation. In the contemporary situation, there is a need for an organized monitoring system on the activity.

For instance, many hospitals are offering the government approved tariffs for foreign patients, however, some hospitals or doctors, individually, charge their patients with some high prices, especially after the inflation and exchange rate problems in the country. Such problems cannot be solved unless a powerful monitoring system is designed.

Different sectors are active for medical tourism in Iran. It is believed that private sector should lead the industry, offered by Iran’s health minister ( 40 ), and the competition should be in terms of the service quality and cheaper prices. Nevertheless, the alliance is highly required among all the active sectors, and at the same time, the actions and strategies can be practiced in a micro level manner, which is in accordance with a national and comprehensive viewpoint.

Education: The Ministry of Health lately offers specific training workshops for individuals active in medical tourism. These lectures are newly established and surely need improvement during the time, meanwhile, the main problem is because it is offered (mainly) from the clinical perspective and non-clinical perspective still need to be considered in the educational system. Medical tourism demands for skilled personnel in both medical and welfare services. Language skills also are critical for appropriate interaction, which needs an inclusive education for general improvement.

Iran is a country full of potential for being among the main destinations for medical tourism, at least for the regional countries, however, still, there is a way to reach to that point since both brokers’ organizations and hospitals need specific training ( ).

Political perspective : Iran’s tourism industry has suffered significantly over the past decades because of a number of issues, which all have led to a negative destination image of this country and the situation ( 41 – 43 ). The political stability can give Iran the time to revive and develop its tourism industry, which can create a better understanding of this ‘misinterpreted nation’ ( 6 ).

It is inevitable also for the medical tourism sector to remain untouched by these political factors. Even though the border countries are familiar with the actual situation and they are well informed about the safety of travelling Iran, still there are some legal challenges for agencies active in medical tourism, due to the sanction and they are facing barriers for collaboration with the foreign companies ( 44 ).

Marketing and promoting: Attracting foreign patient in this competitive market cannot be achieved unless suitable marketing is provided to convince the patients to choose Iran as their treatment destination. Iran now suffers from lack of a well-established media and appropriate contents in the designed websites and brochures for introducing the facilities and infrastructure. In a better word, there is a lack of a comprehensive information management system specific to medical tourists ( 14 , 27 ).

Non-clinical facilities and services: Iran has been always popular concerning the medical expertise, however, medical tourism demands for a package of service, which comprises both clinical and non-clinical services. This country is still far from the standards and the luxury services provided by the top medical tourism destinations around the world. It includes both the infrastructure, which is insufficient ( 14 ) and skilled service providers in accordance with the cultural and social preferences that offer welfare services ( 17 ).

Due to the latest changes in the trends of medical tourism sector around the world, this research aimed to reevaluate the data of this sector in Iran to find the main activities and trends, and evaluate the extent to which Iran is in line with the new trends.

Consistent with the newly announced changes ( 1 , 2 ), the medical tourism sector in Iran is also ‘border countries-based, short distance, cultural-oriented, and diasporic’ type of medical tourism. Iran also has capabilities in terms of the most popular medical sectors for global medical travels, namely cosmetic, fertility or dental treatment ( 2 ) since the services are highly advanced and qualified in these three sectors, besides several other offered advantages that are consistent with the new global trends and even the projections. For instance, it has been claimed by an active pioneer in medical tourism branding, that ‘human behavior will dictate the future of medical tourism marketing’ ( 45 ). Likewise, this sector in Iran owes to the cultural and social similarities with the border countries (where medical travels are highly demanded), and the level of family-based trust to Iranian doctors’ expertise which is an efficient factor in the promotion of Iran’s medical tourism ( 5 , 32 ).

Cultural competency of healthcare providers has been always critical in the scope of healthcare services for foreign patients, and it can provide an advantage in this competitive arena of medical tourism ( 46 – 49 ). Iran, due to the religious-oriented factors and cultural familiarity with the border countries, is highly capable of being introduced as a medical tourism destination in the region that offers services in accordance with the cultural and social background and preferences. For instance, it was shown that ‘providing an appropriate environment where infertile couples’ religious beliefs are respected and considered during the treatment of infertility through ART, will make reproductive tourism a remarkable opportunity’ for Iran’s medical tourism ( 4 ). Though the role of “the healthcare providers” will always talk first ( 21 , 50 ) and it could be even more prominent than the roles of other factors, such as “the government” and “the general tourist services” ( 21 ). Searching on the most attractive factors, it was found that the staff has the highest effect of attraction of foreign patients, while ‘price’ shown to be the lowest ( 11 ), and offering patient-centered care is of high importance ( 22 ). Since two factors of ‘education’ and ‘gender’ can affect the attitudes of the foreign patient visiting Iran ( 13 ), more evaluation on the biographical characteristics is required which can be addressed through an active and efficient system of information recording.

Although this sector in Iran offers numerous capabilities and advantages, it faces diverse challenges (discussed in the previous section) as well that act as barriers for the promotion, and demands for further developmental remedies. The main and most important problems are the unauthorized brokers, lack of an efficient promotional and marketing system, and lack of an active monitoring system. More participation and investment of the private sector can be a successful remedy in this case ( 40 ). Although the image of Iran is not acceptable enough to convince tourists to visit, researchers suggested that this issue could be solved through local strategies and for the neighbor countries ( 7 ). Due to the image of the country in western mass media, it would be more realistic to focus the marketing for the border countries and offer the promotional remedies at a macro level. Providing a well-qualified service for patients coming from border countries can potentially change the general attitude and lead to development.

Considering the contemporary situation, the main solution to address the requirements in the country is to design a comprehensive ‘digital platforms’ ( 38 ) that offers harmonized services and centralized system, prices, and other associated factors for each provided package separately. Moreover, using a well-established integrated information system can assist the process of monitoring over the medical tourism practices around the country, which is far more demanded than just offering and setting the regulations. Organizations and authorities in both levels of government and private sectors (micro-planning level), are called to design and implement their strategies through very efficient collaboration. Regarding the brokers, also, in spite of the unauthorized person, their activities cannot be deleted totally, since they promote the market, and monitoring will eliminate the associated problems.

Well-structured private organizations and authorized brokers can directly fulfil the cultural, social, and linguistic requirements of foreign patients, and it would be the best solution to promote the marketing mix and paying more attention to the micro-level advertisements ( 14 , 26 ) and offer the services in accordance with the cultural-oriented factors. In this regard, it also has been suggested to design the country’s macro policy in a way that promotes interaction with border countries ( 14 ). Eventually, considering the introduced push and pull factors in the process of planning, management, and implementation will assist the authorities to design the best strategies accordingly.

The medical tourism sector in Iran, due to the contemporary situation is consistent with the global trends, which are border-based, short distance, cultural-oriented, and diasporic. Accordingly, the most realistic strategies would be the act of focusing on the marketing and promotion for the foreign patients from neighbor countries, and the positive outcome will not occur unless a combination of centralized policy, micro-level planning, and cultural-oriented factors are carefully taken into account.

Ethical considerations

Ethical issues (Including plagiarism, informed consent, misconduct, data fabrication and/or falsification, double publication and/or submission, redundancy, etc.) have been completely observed by the authors.


This paper was supported by the KU Research Professor Program of Konkuk University.

Conflicts of interests

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


medical tourism in iran

1. Overview

Brief introduction to the country and its reputation in medical tourism.

Iran, a country of rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, is fast emerging as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Often overshadowed by its political climate, Iran’s healthcare system is remarkably advanced, offering a wide range of services and treatments at competitive prices. The nation is home to numerous hospitals and clinics that are equipped with modern technology and highly qualified medical professionals. In the last few years, Iran has seen an increasing number of international patients, mostly from neighboring countries, but also from Europe and even North America.

Historical and Cultural Significance in Medicine

Iran's history in medicine dates back to ancient times, with figures like Avicenna, who is often termed as the 'father of modern medicine,' leading the way. Avicenna's "The Canon of Medicine" was a medical encyclopedia that served as a reference in both the West and the East for many centuries. The country has preserved this rich heritage in its modern medical practices, blending traditional Persian medicine with cutting-edge technology.

Reputation in Medical Tourism

Medical tourism in Iran is promoted vigorously by the government, which sees it as a key sector for economic development. The government not only supports the medical facilities but also simplifies visa procedures to attract foreign patients. Iranian healthcare providers also collaborate with various international bodies to maintain global best practices.

Unique Advantages

What sets Iran apart in the medical tourism sector is not just the cost advantage, but also its unique specialties like infertility treatment, spinal surgeries, and eye surgeries, among others. Also, the short waiting times for treatments and procedures is a boon for medical tourists, allowing for quicker treatment plans and recovery times.

2. Popular Medical Procedures

List and brief descriptions of procedures.

Iran specializes in a variety of medical treatments. Among these, the most popular ones are:

  • Cosmetic Surgery: Includes procedures like rhinoplasty, facelifts, and liposuction.
  • Orthopedic Surgery: Hip and knee replacements, spinal surgeries.
  • Cardiac Care: Bypass surgeries, angiographies, and valve replacements.
  • Ophthalmology: Advanced eye surgeries, including LASIK.
  • Infertility Treatments: In-vitro fertilization (IVF), and other fertility treatments.

Specializations and Pioneering Treatments

Iran is particularly known for its expertise in infertility treatments and cosmetic surgeries, including pioneering methods in rhinoplasty. Additionally, the country has made significant advances in stem cell research and therapy.

3. Top Hospitals & Clinics

Renowned hospitals and medical institutions.

Some of the top medical institutions in Iran include Tehran’s Pars Hospital, Iranmehr Hospital, and Dey Hospital. These facilities boast state-of-the-art technology and highly qualified medical professionals.

Accreditation and Affiliation Details

Many of the hospitals are internationally accredited by reputable organizations other than the ones mentioned as restricted. These accreditations ensure that the hospitals meet global standards.

Special Features, Awards, or Recognitions

Several hospitals have received awards for their quality of care, patient safety, and innovative medical treatments. These accolades highlight the high standard of medical care available.

4. Cost Comparison

Comparative data.

Medical procedures in Iran can cost substantially less compared to Western countries. For example, a rhinoplasty procedure that may cost around $5,000 to $7,000 in the U.S can be performed in Iran for around $1,500 to $2,500.

Price Ranges

  • Cosmetic Surgery: $1,500 - $3,000
  • Orthopedic Surgery: $4,000 - $8,000
  • Cardiac Procedures: $6,000 - $12,000
  • Infertility Treatments: $2,500 - $4,500

(Note: This is an illustrative guide, and prices can vary.)

5. Quality & Safety

Medical standards and practices.

Iran follows high medical standards comparable to Western countries. The doctors are well-qualified, often with international certifications and training.

Accreditation Systems, Regulatory Bodies, and Quality Checks

Several hospitals and clinics have internal quality assurance teams, along with national accreditation to assure the standard of healthcare provided.

Patient Safety Protocols and Patient Rights

Strict protocols for patient safety, confidentiality, and rights are maintained, adhering to international norms. This guide aims to be a comprehensive resource for anyone considering Iran for medical tourism. While the country offers a range of advantages from cost to quality of healthcare, it is always crucial to conduct your own research and consult professionals before making any decisions.

6. Medical Visa Information

Guidelines and requirements for obtaining a medical visa.

Iran has simplified its visa process for medical tourists. Typically, a Medical Visa is needed, often referred to as a "Treatment Visa." This visa usually requires a letter from the healthcare provider in Iran, stating the nature and duration of the treatment.

Duration, Documentation Required, and Application Process

The Medical Visa can be valid for up to 90 days and can be extended if the treatment requires more time. Required documentation usually includes medical records, proof of financial means, and sometimes, a medical appointment confirmation. The application process is generally straightforward and can often be completed online.

Other Travel-related Advisories or Restrictions

It is advised to stay updated with the latest travel advisories from your home country, especially regarding health and safety regulations.

7. Cultural Considerations

Local customs and etiquette.

Understanding local customs and etiquette can help make your medical trip smoother. For instance, it is customary to greet the opposite gender with a nod rather than a handshake.

Language and Communication

Farsi is the official language, but in medical settings, English is often understood and spoken to a reasonable degree.

Dietary Considerations

Iran has diverse culinary offerings, but it's essential to note that pork and alcohol are prohibited.

8. Travel & Accommodation

Popular and recommended areas to stay.

Tehran, being the capital city, offers numerous high-quality accommodation options, ranging from budget to luxury. Locations near the medical facilities are often preferred.

Proximity to Medical Facilities

Most top-rated hospitals and clinics are accessible via a short drive or public transportation from popular accommodations.

Transportation Facilities and Infrastructure

Iran has a well-developed public transport system, including metros and buses. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also readily available.

Recommendations for Post-procedure Relaxation and Recuperation Spots

Iran is rich in natural beauty and historical landmarks, offering multiple options for relaxation and recuperation post-treatment.

9. Legal & Ethical Considerations

Patient rights.

Patients have the right to informed consent, confidentiality, and quality care, similar to international standards.

Medical Malpractice Laws and Patient Recourse

Iran has its set of laws concerning medical malpractice, designed to protect both the patient and the medical practitioners. However, it's essential to consult with legal advisors familiar with Iran's laws when navigating these issues.

Ethical Considerations

Iran follows international ethical guidelines for medical treatments, although it's important to be aware of the country-specific regulations and ethical stances, especially in areas like organ transplants.

10. Benefits & Risks

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • High-quality healthcare services
  • Skilled medical professionals
  • Short waiting times
  • Political climate
  • Language barrier in some settings
  • Limited international insurance options

11. Post-procedure Care

Post-operative care.

Many hospitals in Iran offer comprehensive post-operative care, including specialized nursing and rehabilitation facilities.

Availability and Quality of Rehabilitation Centers

High-quality rehabilitation centers are available, especially for orthopedic and cardiac care.

12. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What language do doctors speak.

Most doctors in leading hospitals are fluent in English.

How do I pay for medical services?

Both cash and card payments are generally accepted, but it's best to consult your chosen medical facility in advance.

Is it safe to travel to Iran for medical treatments?

While Iran has political tensions, medical tourists usually do not face any issues related to safety, especially when sticking to tourist-friendly areas and medical facilities.

Can I extend my visa if my treatment requires more time?

Yes, Medical Visas can usually be extended by providing proper documentation from your healthcare provider.

Global Provider Members

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Iran has a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool winters. The climate is influenced by Iran's location between the subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of the eastern Mediterranean area. January is the coldest month, with temperatures from 5°C to 10°C, and August is the hottest month at 20°C to 30°C or more. In most of the areas, summers are warm to hot with virtually continuous sunshine, but high humidity on the southern coastal areas of the Persian Gulf. Daily Temperatures can be very hot; on some days temperatures can reach easily 40°C or more, especially along the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea which causes a danger of heat exhaustion.


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medical tourism in iran is a free, confidential, independent resource for patients and industry providers. Our mission is to provide a central portal where patients, medical tourism providers, hospitals, clinics, employers, and insurance companies can all find the information they need. Our site focuses on patients looking for specific knowledge in the fields of medical tourism, dental tourism, and health tourism.

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  • What is Medical Tourism?

Why is Health Tourism Recommended in Iran?

  • Author: Habib Ebrahimi
  • Jan 01 2022
  • latest update: Oct 02 2022

Medical tourism is considered one of the branches of the tourism industry. Today, much attention is paid to health tourism in Iran because it improves access to healthcare services for people with different health backgrounds and budgets. With the advancement of medical tourism in Iran , the country has become one of the main hubs for receiving different medical treatments -especially plastic surgeries- in the Middle East. You can contact one of the Iran health agencies to apply for Iran medical visa, book accommodation, and benefit from the country's high-standard healthcare services.

health tourism in iran

Why Was Medical Tourism Formed?

  • A long queue to start the treatment process;
  • Lack of medical facilities in the traveler's country;
  • High cost of treatment in the traveler's country;
  • Lack of insurance coverage;
  • Changes in consumer values;
  • Insufficient health care services in the traveler's country;
  • Population aging.

Advantages of Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism also has advantages for the targeted patients, including:

  • The high-tech healthcare system in the destination;
  • Lack of waiting for queue and quick-start treatment;
  • Reasonable price for treatment process as well as travel and accommodation costs.

health tourism in iran

Medical Tourism in Iran

Many people travel to different countries to access healthcare services every year, and Iran is one of the favorable destinations for medical tourism.

Due to the presence of skilled and experienced physicians, well-equipped medical centers, and up-to-date methods, Iran receives many patients from all over the world every year. The statistics show that in 2012, about 30,000 trips were conducted to Iran for medical purposes.

The availability of necessary medical opportunities in Iran has made this country an ideal destination for tourists seeking medical purposes. Also, the existence of warm and cold mineral springs, as well as progress in the field of technology, medical sciences, medicinal herbs, and owning particular geographic regions and various ecosystems, have turned Iran into a health tourism center in the world.

Iran Plastic Surgery Packages

Since plastic surgery is prevalent and familiar in Iran, Iranian plastic surgeons are experienced in this field, and the medical centers are equipped with the latest technologies. Raadina Co. offers the most affordable and customized plastic surgery packages for rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, breast and buttock augmentation, liposuction, etc., to those who wish to undergo plastic surgery in Iran.

Fertility Treatment in Iran 

With the increasing number of infertile couples worldwide, many patients travel globally to benefit from the best fertility treatments. Fortunately, Iran has the most skilled and well-educated fertility specialists worldwide who can make your dream of having a child come true. Raadina Co., with years of experience in providing the most affordable and wholesome fertility treatment packages, will guide and assist you in this journey. Some fertility packages offered by the Raadina team include IVF, IUI, ICSI, donor eggs, surrogacy, etc.

medical tourism in iran

Is It Safe to Visit Iran as a Tourist?

As many tourists assert, Iran is a safe country to visit (especially for people who travel to the country for medical purposes), although insecure countries surround it. In addition to all its merits, Iran has one of the best and most affordable health care systems in the world that you can benefit from all through the year.

Yazd city is one of the top destinations for health tourism. The city is located in the center of Iran and is easily accessible through roads, railways, and flights from parts of the country. Yazd is rich in desert areas which are considered one of the main attractions in Yazd for sightseeing.

However, the therapeutic properties of deserts for various diseases such as joint pain and its absolute silence and peace doubled the value of the desert to attract many travelers and meditators worldwide to experience Eco tours and health tours.

In addition to natural and historical attractions, the city of Yazd is one of the top medical destinations by taking advantage of owning well-equipped hospitals and skillful physicians and specialists.

These features have made Yazd one of the best and most standardized regions in the Middle East regarding medical facilities and specialized hospitals, especially in the fields such as infertility, heart disease, etc.

Low-Cost Treatment

One of the main reasons for traveling to Iran to receive medical services is the low medical expenses here. In the past, people from developing countries traveled to developed countries to get better health services.

medical tourism cost

Nowadays, therapeutic travel has reached a new concept. Today people travel to access high-quality health services at a lower price than the price in their own country. Yazd is considered one of the cheapest and, at the same time, one of the most prominent cities in Iran for seeking medical purposes.

Well-experienced Specialists and Physicians

Yazd houses a large number of proficient physicians in different fields. Many physicians and specialists from Yazd are famous all over the world. Prof. Abbas Aflatoonian in the field of infertility, Dr. Sadr in cardiology, and Prof. Owlia in rheumatoid diseases are some examples of the most prominent physicians in Yazd.

Well-equipped Healthcare Centers

According to the quantitative and qualitative healthcare indicators, Yazd has a more favorable rank than the total average of the country. Because there are more than 2,650 beds, more than 20 medical centers, 159 health care centers, and other clinical and paraclinical facilities, Yazd has become one of Iran's most important medical centers. In this regard, research centers in fertility and infertility, dentistry, cardiovascular diseases, and women's diseases have provided a good opportunity for specialized medical activities.

Yazd medical tourism is known as Yazd Reproductive Sciences Institute, which is regarded as the first clinical center for infertility in the Middle East. Many patients come to this institute to receive medical services worldwide.

Yazd Reproductive Sciences Institute is the hub of infertility treatment in Iran. It has always welcomed many couples from all over Iran. Patients from neighboring countries, and European countries, have been referred to the center to treat their infertility and experience pleasant feelings and parenting.

healthcare tourism

Raadina Health, Medical Tourism Company

As one of the best medical tourism companies in Iran, Raadina Co. helps you find accommodations at reasonable prices, book appointments with the best physicians and health centers, arrange transportation inside the country, apply for Iran medical visa, etc.

Suppose you plan to travel to Iran to receive various medical services such as infertility treatments or perform weight loss and cosmetic surgeries. In that case, our consultants will be ready to provide you with any information you need to know in this regard.

Contact us for a free initial consultation about cosmetic and medical treatments in Iran.

FAQs on Health Tourism in Iran

1) Why should I choose Iran for medical treatment?

Iran is a developed country in the medical field, especially in cosmetic surgeries and fertility treatments. Also, the price of healthcare services in Iran is incomparable to other countries in the Middle East. Therefore, this country is a proper destination for various medical treatments.

2) Is the healthcare system in Iran good?

Based on UNICEF's rating, Iran has an "excellent" healthcare system, with numerous skilled specialists and modern hospitals. 

3) What does the term "medical tourism" mean?

Medical tourism, also known as health tourism and medical travel, refers to traveling to another country to receive medical treatment. People usually use other countries' healthcare services to benefit from more skilled doctors' experience or reduce their medical expenses. 

4) What are the biggest health issues in Iran?

Although Iran is famous for its plastic surgeons and cosmetic hospitals, the five main health issues in the country are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, injuries, diabetes, and depressive disorders. 

5) Is healthcare expensive in Iran?

The price of public and private medical treatments in Iran is very reasonable compared to the quality of healthcare services.

6) What is the best country for medical tourism?

In the Middle East, Iran is one of the top 10 countries for medical treatment because it has many world-renowned surgeons and the best healthcare providers. They have graduated from top universities in the world.

7) Is Iran dangerous for medical tourists?

Hosting thousands of medical tourists annually, Iran is as safe as other countries around the globe for receiving healthcare services.  

8) Does Iran have a lot of medical tourists?

Iran's public health care system has excellent standards; therefore, thousands of foreign patients visit the country to receive medical treatment and go sightseeing simultaneously. 

medical tourism in iran

Habib Ebrahimi

Habib Ebrahimi is a university student in English translation. He is interested in researching and studying the latest and most up-to-date information in medical science. He started to work as a content creator in the Raadina Health team about 4 years ago and obtains first-hand information from reliable sources. He writes articles under the supervision of Raadina Health's professional medical team of doctors, nurses, and midwives.

پیش فرض

radina health Is The Best Medical Tourism Platform In Iran That Cooperates With The Best Hospitals And The Best Doctors And Surgeons.

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Iran is a country with healthy and pleasant climate, amazing landscapes, magnificent historical and cultural monuments as well as innovative technology and sophisticated medical equipment. Medoturiran recommends the medical tourists from all over the world to travel to IRAN and enjoy a memorable medical trip.

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MedTourIran has been established in Iran as the biggest center offering medical, surgery and cosmetic services. Our company offers the best services at affordable prices using qualified medical experts, advanced clinics, and hospitals. MedTourIran is currently providing all medical tourism services including visa, flight, interpreter, urban transfer, hoteling, and medical follow-ups. These services are simultaneously offered in Tehran, Shiraz¸ and Mashhad for Arabic and English-speaking countries. This center is sponsored by the vice presidency for science and technology of Iran. Our main goal is to prevent dealers whom despite of receiving high rates, link people to unreliable and incompetent centers. By offering the best medical services at affordable prices to adjacent countries, we are trying to strengthen Iran’s friendly relations with these countries.

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Iran welcomes millions of medical tourists every year.

Iran Welcomes Millions of Medical Tourists Every Year

Deputy Health Minister Saeed Karimi said on Monday that Iran has been welcoming millions of medical tourists on a yearly basis and that no Iranian patient is sent abroad for medical treatment. “Medicine is highly advanced in Iran and we’re pre-eminent among the countries in the region,” Karimi was quoted as saying by IRNA at a conference on international medical centers and hospitals at the IRIB International Conference Center.  According to the official, out of a total of 1,100 hospitals throughout the country, 250 have been granted the permit to admit and offer services to patients with foreign nationalities.  Karimi said that the government was constructing large health facilities in several metropolises in an effort to market Iran as a destination for medical tourism, “They can provide services to foreign patients.” He added that Iran had to provide easy access to information on its renowned medical centers to potential tourists.  “Most foreign patients visit the country’s hospitals for infertility, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, cosmetology, orthopedics and transplantation,” he said.  Karimi noted that Iran had generated a revenue of $1 billion from health-related tourism alone, but he failed to specify the time period in which the revenue was brought in.  A member of parliament at the conference, Mohammad Ali Mohseni Bandpey, attributed the success to Iran’s skillful medical experts, low cost of treatment and high-quality services.  Bandpey added that Iran was planning to boost its medical tourism industry by offering insurance coverage to foreign patients.  “Iran has a lot of potential in the health sector. We have exported one billion euros in medicine and we can also achieve success in medical tourism,” the lawmaker said.  Tehran, Mashhad, Yazd, Shiraz and Ahwaz are among the top destinations chosen by tourists who choose to cross borders to seek affordable treatment.  

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Knee replacement Surgery is a very effective surgical method that reduces your extremely unbearable knee pain and discomfort dramatically

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Tebmedtourism, medical tourism.

Asr teb Beinilmelal Company started its activity in 2016 with the brand name “Teb Med Tourism” focusing on health tourism activities (medical tourism).

About TebMedTourism company

“Asr-Teb-Beinolmelal” company with the brand name of “TebMedTourism” is an international healthcare facilitator company based in Iran working on medical tourism field.

Medical tourism in Iran

Medical Tourism is becoming popular in the world. Iran with high standards in medical research,  health care & cosmetic services  at affordable costs is a distinctive destination for Medical Tourism.

Some of the most prominent and highly skilled doctors , modern health care facilities are here to answer all your therapeutic needs.Medical costs in Iran

TebMedTourism Co.

TebMedTourism Company having a strong background in medical and cosmetic care in addition to employing experts in tourism industry, provides excellent services to all dear medical travelers all over the world. We are cooperating with more than 40 internationally certified hospitals, 140 selected local hospitals, 300 specialized medical centers , 430 doctors,  112 hotels, domestic and international airlines  all over Iran . We facilitate comprehensive medical & cosmetic packages including but not limited to:

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after reaching airport, the leader and interpreter with car will be waiting for you and you will be transferred to the booked accommodation.

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