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Health in Jordan

Jordan has achieved a fine reputation of its high quality healthcare system, even as the country faces challenges in administering this high quality system throughout the country (Amman being the exception). Government put the figure of health care expenses in 2002 around 7.5% of the country's GDP (or gross domestic product). But the industry had thought that this number is grossly underestimated, and a more realistic number is probably closer to 9.3% of GDP.

The healthcare industry in Jordan is dominated by two prominent players and they are public institutions and private businesses. Among the government bodies, the Health Ministry operates the biggest network of healthcare institutions (an impressive 1245 primary healthcare centers plus 27 hospitals - both combined to represent some 37% of hospital beds); the military's Royal Medical Services adds another 24% to the total number of hospital beds through its 11 hospitals; and in Jordan University Hospital, another 3% is added to the country's total. Conversely, the private sector, which runs the 56 hospitals in the country, is responsible for the 36% of hospital beds. Over the years, the private sector has improved significantly and this effort is evident when Jordan Hospital (the biggest privately run and general specialty hospital in Jordan) attained a JCI international accreditation back in 2007 June. In terms of treatment costs, Jordan pays substantially less in comparison with what their counterparts in other countries do.

At the height of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic, a report released in 2003 showed that the prevalent rate never goes beyond 0.1%. The United Nations Development Program published a report that pointed out Jordan was already free of malaria since 2001; tuberculosis cases have also dropped dramatically by 50% during the 90s even though the disease remains a threat in the country where more still need to be done. Jordan was also not able to escape from the quick but short spread of bird flu but survived relatively unscathed in 2006. It continues to be dealing with non-communicable diseases such as cancer that remains among the top critical disorders. The country has aggressively pushed for childhood immunization since the early 90s, and this effort has been successful to reach over 95% of all children below five years of age.

According to a report published in 2007, as much as 70% of Jordanians are protected by health insurance, and the government is determined to have all its population covered by 2011.

On the international front, the King Hussein Cancer Center stands out as Middle East only specialized cancer treatment facility. It ranks among the very best cancer treatment facilities in the modern world. World Bank has recognized Jordan as the top healthcare service provider in Middle East and counted the country among the five best internationally. Jordan has always welcomed international patronage and in 2008, as much as 250,000 from all over the world gathered here at the Kingdom to receive treatment. Medical tourism is a big business in Jordan and it generated more than $1 billion in 2008.

Medical tourism is currently the booming business in both the Middle East and North Africa, with Jordan playing an active part. World Bank has acknowledged the country's reputation as being the top destination for traveling expatriates who are looking for medical treatments. It is ranked above Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Israel (in that order).

CIA World Factbook has pointed out that at an average life span of 78.55 years, Jordan is one of the top countries whose populations enjoy extended life span (it is only behind Israel in the region). Despite severe water shortage, Jordan has triumphed over the limitation and today almost all Jordanians enjoy clean water and sanitation.

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List of Hospitals in Jordan
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