Is Jordan’s support for medical travel sincere?

A medical tourism conference to showcase Jordan’s healthcare has been announced, just as His Majesty King Abdullah II flies to Germany for treatment.

Under the Royal Patronage, the 7th Medical Tourism World Summit, Conference and Expo in Jordan will take place in July 2022.

The organisers stated: “The Royal Patronage has been always a guarantee for the success of any project. The patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II to this particular event demonstrates His Majesty’s keenness on boosting medical tourism as being one of the main contributors to the national economy.”

However, on the day that the conference and exhibition to promote medical tourism was announced. local media revealed that the same Jordanian monarch was going to undergo surgery in Germany to treat a slipped disc. This unfortunate timing suggested that while he may publicly promote medical tourism, he may not privately have the confidence in local medical facilities even for what is a relatively simple operation.

The decision to undergo surgery was taken upon the professional advice of Jordanian physicians who examined the king. The king had been experiencing intermittent pain in the spinal cord after years of parachuting while serving in the Special Forces. The pressure on the nerve due to the herniation had increased which calls for urgent surgery.

The conference and exhibition aim to market Jordan’s medical services, provided by government and private hospitals, as well as medical tourism.

The promoters claim that Jordan’s excellence in the healthcare sector in terms of hospitals match those in the most developed countries.