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Lebanon expected to emerge as regional hub for healthcare tourism in the Middle East

Leading tourism companies in Lebanon have recently announced a strategic campaign to promote Lebanon as the…

Leading tourism companies in Lebanon have recently announced a strategic campaign to promote Lebanon as the regional hub for healthcare related tourism in the Middle East. This initiative, endorsed by the National Council of Health tourism and the Lebanese government is aimed at boosting the country`s economy by driving healthcare tourism traffic to the country.

Dr Wissam Aiysa, advisor to the Ministry of Health, Lebanon commented that the country`s ideal location at the crossroads of the Middle East and Europe, natural scenic beauty and availability of advanced medical facilities have contributed to popularising Lebanon as a quality healthcare and recuperation holiday destination. At a press conference held today, (Wednesday, February 11, 2004) in Dubai, K & M International Health Tourism and Alpha Tours Dubai, renowned tour operators based in Dubai, announced ambitious plans to position Lebanon as a healthcare destination to residents of the UAE by introducing specialised holiday packages.

Commenting on Lebanon`s health infrastructure, Dr. Aiysa stated that Lebanon currently has 161 hospitals and seven University hospitals. The country has an impressive array of medical departments and specialties including special exploration areas in electrocardiography, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology and non-interventional cardiology.

Lebanon has a highly developed healthcare industry. Well-equipped hospitals, qualified medical personnel and the constant updating of medical technology and facilities have contributed to the country`s growing recognition as a centre for medical treatment. We, at K&M International Health Tourism, would like to recommend Lebanon as an alternative healthcare destination to UAE residents. As specialists in tailor-made holiday packages, we are advising people to combine their healthcare requirements with a holiday in Lebanon, said Khalil Malaeb, General Manager, K&M International Health Tourism.

In Lebanon, tourists can enjoy the rich history and culture of the place as well as be assured that the healthcare they are primarily visiting the country for is of the highest quality and standards. The country has 10,500 doctors, 85 per cent of which are specialised. Approximately 37 per cent of the doctors in Lebanon have graduated and specialised in European Universities and 11 per cent graduated and specialised in North American universities. The country also boasts 48 medical societies and 48 hospitals with international accreditation,
Mr Malaeb added.

Lebanon is also currently the only country in the region to offer the Gastric Band Pacemaker, a new medical procedure, promoted by K&M International, that assists patients who need help losing weight and reducing their food intake. The device, fitted on the patient`s abdomen, shrinks the stomach so that it does not require as much food and the patient will not feel so hungry. The procedure has been tried and tested in Lebanon and is now being carried out by specialised doctors in the country. This revolutionary procedure enhances the image of Lebanon as the new destination for medical excellence. The Gastric Band Pacemaker procedure will be available at specified health centres and hospitals.

Lebanon lends itself as a prime location for medical treatment, recuperation and rehabilitation. Alpha Tours Dubai has partnered with K&M International to co-organise holidays in Lebanon for those travelling for healthcare reasons. We are organising tours and sightseeing trips for customers who book with K&M International to ensure that those visiting Lebanon experience the rich landscape, its cultural heritage and the pleasant year-round weather, said Mr Ghassan Aridi, Managing Director of Alpha Tours Dubai.

We are working in conjunction with K&M International to organise tour packages for customers in the UAE. The packages will be designed to offer tourists relaxing, healthy holidays that incorporate as much or as little sightseeing as each individual wants. The key to this partnership is that every holiday is tailor-made to suit each individual, bearing in mind the amount of medical attention that the individual will be undertaking, said Aridi.