The group of seven individuals participated under the umbrella of a gold sponsorship of the Private Hospitals Association (PHA) which was supported by USAID, through the USAID-funded SABEQ Program, whereby they visited several well established healthcare facilities in Manila, attended issue-specific workshops and participated in panel discussions surrounding topics such as the latest medical travel updates and market trends, safety issues in medical travel, legal aspects of this market, and gaining European accreditation in the medical travel community.
During the conference, the Jordanian delegation participated in several panel discussions and networking events through which they fully benefited from the opportunity to promote Jordan as a whole, and focus on the Kingdom’s rapidly growing medical sector. One example was a 15 minute presentation conducted by the Chairman of PHA and a discussion panel including Dr. Ratib Hinnawi –Director of the Medical Tourism Directorate at the Ministry of Health.
In addition to the site visits, conference workshops and networking events that the participates engaged in, an exhibition was held simultaneously at the conference facilities which included several service providers from Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. These countries have been able to successfully develop the medical tourism sectors in their countries and attract investors, doctors and patients from around the world.
PHA and the participating hospitals initiated contacts with more than 57 buyers including medical tourism companies and medical insurance companies from Australia, U.K., U.S., UAE, India and the Philippines. As a result of such networking events, several potential buyers (i.e. medical insurance companies and tourism companies) showed significant interest in conducting site visits to Jordanian hospitals to assess their capacities and discuss anticipated cooperation is in the near future.
The event is seen as a stepping stone for Jordan’s growing medical sector, specifically in the area of medical tourism. Over the past several years, Jordan has been working diligently to become more competitive in this particular area, especially since it offers more competitive rates in the medical services offered in comparison to other Arab countries, the U.S., Canada and some European countries.
“This conference benefited us in terms of allowing us to benchmark Jordan’s hospitals and medical sector against other countries,” stated Dr Fawzi Al Hammouri Chirman of the Private Hospital Association. “By determining where we stand, Jordan can now move towards improving the capacity, capability and gain international accreditation for our hospitals.” Participants of the conference were also introduced to activities whereby participating hospitals were given tools to enhance their marketing strategies, which will ultimately expand their markets and generate revenue.
The support granted to the Private Hospital Association by USAID, is in line with USAID/SABEQ’s objectives of supporting and enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the PHA towards achieving its vision in being recognized as one of the main supporting organizations of healthcare services providers in Jordan.
The USAID-funded Sustainable Achievement of Business Expansion and Quality Program (SABEQ) is a five year broad economic development initiative implemented by BearingPoint, Inc. and a sizeable team of international and Jordanian partner firms. By both supporting improvements in the business environment and providing assistance to expand innovation and productivity in Jordanian businesses, SABEQ’s four components all support the common objective of building up the private sector—Jordan’s companies, innovators and entrepreneurs—as a powerful engine of economic growth.