Patients travel to India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran

According to Wahid Majrooh, Afghan governmental and medical centres have made great medical achievements, but they are still not capable of providing patients with specialized services; consequently, many Afghans who need specialized treatment travel to other countries such as India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran.

Afghanistan is more compatible with Iran in terms of its religion, language and geographical position, but most patients travel to India and Pakistan,” said Majrooh. “This issue needs to be addressed and researched upon because Afghanistan is willing to share its US$300 to $400 million worth of tourism market with Iranian friends; however, if Iran wants to profit from this market, it should be more active and professional in seizing the opportunities,” he said.

We think that if our Iranian friends don’t attract Afghan health tourists, they may not be able to penetrate Afghanistan’s medicine market either,” Majrooh added.

Iranian hospitals and private centres have not yet advertised the efficiency and capacity of their technical equipment and human resource among Afghans, so we don’t have enough information about Iran’s health sector capabilities.”

Majrooh added that the presence of Iranian physicians in Afghanistan would also be an effective method in introducing the capacities of Iran’s health system to Afghans.

I think with more talks with our Iranian counterparts, we would finally reach an effective solution as apart from bringing benefits to Iran’s market, using Iran’s medical services is more financially justified for Afghans as well,” he said.

The Islamic Republic constructed a hospital building in Kabul around 10 years ago and after our recent meeting with Iran’s Red Crescent, it was agreed that the hospital starts its activity by the beginning of next year,” said Majrooh.