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Saudi Arabia Witnesses Growth in Medical Tourism

The Private Hospitals Association (PHA) announced on Sunday that the Kingdom’s sector witnessed a rise in patients last year.

Private hospitals across witnessed a 10 per cent increase in foreign patients in 2009, PHA President Fawzi Hammouri declared in a press conference yesterday.

In addition, 220,000 patients from across the world received treatment in the Kingdom’s private hospitals last year, up from 200,000 in 2008 and 190,000 in 2007.

On the other hand, Iraqis represented the largest number of foreign patients seeking treatment in the Kingdom, accounting for 19 per cent, followed by Palestinians (16 per cent) and Saudi Arabians (15 per cent).

“The quality and competitiveness of in have made the country an attractive destination for foreigners seeking advanced treatments that are unavailable or unaffordable in their home countries,” Hammouri noted.

Considered one of the main contributors to the national economy, medical tourism brings in revenues that reach $1 billion annually.

Hammouri added that initial figures for 2010 received from the 48 private hospitals affiliated with the association are “promising” and indicate that the number of medical tourists will continue to increase this year.

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