A Systematic Review of the Factors Affecting the Growth of Medical Tourism in Iran

Document Type : Review Article


Clinical Research Development Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Nemazee Hospital, Shiraz, Iran



Introduction: Planning in the field of medical tourism is of particular importance. The main objective of this research was to identify and analyze the factors affecting the growth of medical tourism in Iran. It could be a small step toward promoting entrepreneurship and increasing non-oil revenues in the country.
Methods: Studies published in the Persian and English language during the years 2006-2019 in Science Direct, ProQuest, Springer, Medline, Scopus, Ovid, and SID databases were reviewed, and the findings were then compared.
Results: A total of 75 articles out of 2631 unique publications were included in this study. Most articles reported studies performed for all patients, including the whole country (Iran) (n=22, 30%), Shiraz only (n=11, 15%), Tehran only (n=11, 15%), Mashhad only (n=6, 8%), Isfahan only (n=5, 6%), and Ardabil only (n=4, 5%).
Conclusion: Given the history of Iranian hospitals in attracting foreign patients and the analysis of their status, there are many limitations in achieving a proper standing in the medical tourism industry. Strategies offered by various managers and authorities in tourism can lead to increased attraction of medical tourists to public and private hospitals in Shiraz, relying on the capabilities and potential of Shiraz and its health sectors, including climate and nature, cultural and historical attractions, renowned practitioners, advanced equipment, facilities, and methods, and thereby generating more foreign exchange earnings and employment.