Jordan Hospital

In 2009 Deloitte reported that Jordan was among the top ranking countries for medical tourism and several of our hospitals were marked as centers of excellence.

Interview with Dr. Victor Abdullah Al Bashir, General Manager of Jordan Hospital

Dr. Victor Abdullah Al Bashir General Manager Jordan Hospital

According to the Minister of Health, Jordan has over 100 hospitals with a bed capacity of over 11,000 total.  What is your overall assessment of the healthcare sector in Jordan and what do you think should be improved? 

Jordan has an advancing healthcare system and the medical services in Jordan are provided by 3 sectors: government, the privates sector, and the public sector.  There are 60 private hospitals and this is 1/3 of the bed capacity in Jordan and they are responsible for 36% of admissions in Jordan and account for 46% of all surgical procedures done in Jordan.  The private sector is very busy regarding medical services and also brings medical tourism to Jordan where we rank number one in the region and fifth worldwide.  Our advanced healthcare system is due to many reasons- excellent hospitals that are also accredited and well trained physicians (often trained in the west).

When you travel abroad to western countries what is the response you get from people when you talk about the healthcare system in Jordan? 

The first world medical tourism congress was done three years ago in San Francisco and at that time Jordan was not known internationally like it was in the region.  In 2009, Deloitte reported that Jordan was among the top ranking countries for medical tourism and several of our hospitals were marked as centers of excellence.  Worldwide now Jordan is well known as a choice destination for medical tourism.

Can you mention some of the advantages Jordanian hospitals possess over other hospitals in the region?

We are the biggest private hospital in Jordan and the first to have JCI accreditation, among others.  It is an educational center and a center for research where many controlled trials are being conducted.  The excellent care we provide, the educational opportunities, and the research we conduct comprise our three pillars of excellence.  We have well trained people in all medical specialties and very good outcomes for these here.

What are some of the challenges that you face now and the future?

We need to maintain the same high standards in our operations as we continue and provide quality care.  If you can offer quality care then there should be no problem.

Can you mention a time a person came to Jordan Hospital, received treatment, and was met with success?

We have many testimonials from patients from all over.  There are few centers that over the type of valve replacement we do but Jordan Hospital is one of them.  We offer innovative procedures and this is attractive to our patients.  We always conduct patient satisfaction surveys and our patients are always satisfied.

 Can you mention some of these innovative procedures?

  Our figures compared to international figures are excellent.  We have a mortality rate of below 1% and we always compare our figures to international benchmarks.

One of the most important factors to consider in medical tourism is the cost.  Are you competitive?

We are very cost competitive and people can find savings of up to 90% compared to other destinations.  Travel costs are part of the costs and everything comes as a package deal, including a high quality of care and favorable outcomes.

Does the idea sell by itself or do you need to spread the word?

It has already spread. 

Do you find that people think “why should I come to Jordan” and that you have to more so sell the country instead of the hospital?

We say that to become a medical tourism destination we need several things, some of them being stability, safety, security, infrastructure, geographical location, and facilities.  We are working on raising awareness by attending medical tourism congresses and this has helped put Jordan on the top of the list.

What is the visa situation?

It is very easy and can be obtained in the airport upon arrival.

You are also trying to promote Jordan as a place for people to travel, can you speak a little more on this?

We have several desirable tourism destinations in Jordan.  We offer the Dead Sea, Petra, five star hotels, a desirable climate and a clean environment. 

Do you also consider international expansion of Jordan Hospital to replicate what has been done in Jordan in other countries?

We are currently working on a project to open a medical university.  Jordan is known for its services both medical and educational.  People come to Jordan for both of these and we want to combine these by opening the first private medical university in Jordan.  We are working with the Minister of Education and we have a partnership with George Washington University and within a year we should see this materialize.

You have had a successful career as a general surgeon, how would you describe your life journey and what is your vision for Jordan?

I work as a general surgeon and I am on the board of directors at Jordan Hospital and both are going very well.  As a country I think we are heading towards more success and I believe Jordan will continue to serve as the number on medical destination in the Middle East and continue to gain momentum on the international scene. Hopefully our children will be our successors.  I have five children, three of which are in medicine and have been trained in America and hopefully they will join us at the Hospital (though one has already).  All of my colleagues have children who are doing similar things and we all hope they will come back and succeed us at Jordan Hospital. 

Not all people can afford private hospitals in Jordan.  How do you assess this?

80% of the people in Jordan have some sort of insurance.  1/3 of our patients are from outside of Jordan, 45% use some kind of insurance, and the remaining 18% pay with cash.  People receive equal treatment.

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