Sep 09, 2018 07:53 Asia/Tehran

Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, has said Iran is already a hub of health tourism.

In an exclusive interview with Iran Press on Saturday, Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean said: "We must all be proud and happy about the work being done here in Iran with regards to public healthcare. Universities , hospitals and healthcare centres are working hard to develop public healthcare services in the country, relating to non-communicable diseases."

Asked whether Iran can be considered a hub of health tourism in the region, Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari replied: "I have no doubts about that. It has already started a few years back.  Iran is already a centre for health tourism.As far as I remember , there are very good eye clinics and Ophthalmology centres in Iran, many patients are coming to visit Iran, specially the city of Shiraz , for eye treatment , and I am sure given the capacity and potential you have here,  and the calibre of the medical staff , I can see in the short-term patients will flock to Iran to receive a range of healthcare services.

Asked about America's unilateral sanctions against Iran, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean said: "To be honest, I hope that US sanctions won't damage the healthcare system in Iran, although it is a known fact that sanctions against any country will definitely have an impact.  I am optimistic that Iranians will be able to overcome this problem."

In further comments, Al Mandhari said: "The international system will support Iran , because at the end of the day, whatever sanctions are imposed on any country , the citizens and sick people will be affected. We all agree we don't want that to happen, because those people need a good healthcare system which will relieve them from their suffering."