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Saudi Arabia Opens Health Tourism Future Forum in Riyadh

Written by Linda Hohnholz

Four key sessions were part of the Health Tourism Future Forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, beginning April 28 and running through April 30.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Health and co-organized by the Health Tourism Club and the Health Tourism Association in partnership with the Global Healthcare Travel Council, the forum delves into strategies to position Saudi Arabia as a global health tourism hub.

The opening day explored a range of topics, including Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the country‚Äôs potential to become a health tourism destination, emerging trends in global health tourism and patient expectations, best practices and growth strategies for medical tourism, and leveraging technology to enhance the patient experience.

The forum aims to increase the Kingdom’s role in regional and global health tourism, ultimately establishing it as a leading destination in the Middle East and beyond.

The Health Tourism Club and the Health Tourism Association, in partnership with the Global Healthcare Travel Council (GHTC), started here today the Health Tourism Future Forum aiming to identify priorities and redefine visions for health tourism at regional and international levels.

The forum, which drew a wide participation from various health sectors and service providers, coincides with the eighth anniversary of the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030, and is happening at a time when the Kingdom holds the position of vice president of the GHTC. It serves as an annual global platform for the health tourism industry to develop strategies for the health tourism sector in the Kingdom, highlights the Kingdom’s capabilities in the sector, and pinpoints investment opportunities in the tourism and healthcare sectors.

Health Tourism Association President Ahmed Al-Oraij noted that the forum is the first health tourism initiative launched from a promising, empowered, and qualified country that possesses all the elements and standards needed to make it competitive in the healthcare sector.

Al-Oraij said the Health Tourism Association will become a reliable and empowering reference for this industry, and help promote the Kingdom as a leading destination for health tourism, showcasing its potential and capabilities, and providing qualification and training programs.

Health Sector Transformation Program CEO Dr. Khalid Al-Shaibani stressed that a healthy society contributes directly to national development and creates new economic opportunities.

He highlighted four key areas of the program: improving access to healthcare, improving quality of services, promoting preventive measures for health hazards, and prioritizing traffic safety.

Al-Shaibani said that the health sector transformation has yielded positive results, including the adoption of a modern healthcare model emphasizing public health and prevention, wider research and development, innovation, and the transition toward digital health services.

The Health Tourism Future Forum provides a platform for experts and specialists in medical tourism to share knowledge and expertise. It fosters collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop this vital sector and showcases the latest technologies and innovations in healthcare and medical tourism aiming at establishing the Kingdom as a preferred destination for treatment and health recreation.

The forum also addresses challenges, proposes innovative solutions for sustainable growth, and works to raise awareness about the need to prioritize health and well-being. It is the culmination of the Kingdom’s endeavors to boost medical tourism and enhance the local and global healthcare sector.

The 3-day event includes a range of activities such as presentations, workshops, a young researchers’ forum, discussions, bilateral business meetings, seminars, and interactive sessions. The activities focus on different aspects of medical tourism, including innovation, investment, marketing, and legislation.