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Medical tourism in Morocco

Medical tourism involves traveling abroad to receive medical care. At least 20 million people around the world travel each year to countries with cutting-edge healthcare systems that offer low-cost medical treatment with short waiting times. This number will increase in the coming years to meet the growing well-being needs of the elderly in one side, and to the weakness and deficiency of the public health systems in the western countries at the other side.

Morocco stands out as a recent player in the medical tourism sector as a receiving country. Indeed, the most recent data provided by the Medical Tourism Index 2020-2021 shows that Morocco ranks 31st out of the 46 most visited countries worldwide for medical tourism [1]. Nevertheless, following the recent very accelerated development of the last few years in the private sector at the medical level in Morocco, this country will impose itself more and more as a very popular destination for tourists in search of accessible medical care, of quality and at advantageous cost.

Several advantages make Morocco a destination of choice for medical tourism. Effectively, Morocco is a stable and secure country at the political level. Likewise, its geographical position makes it a strategic place for medical tourism. Indeed, separated by the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco is very close to Europe. Similarly, from the eastern United States or Canada, a plane ride takes about six hours. Accommodation, food and airfare costs are affordable. Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has a large airline fleet and flies to more than 90 destinations worldwide. In addition, nationals of more than 70 countries are exempt from entry visas to come to Morocco [2].

The cultural diversity of Morocco allows it a welcoming and warm place. Its exoticism and particularly mild weather attract millions of tourists annually. Its gastronomic richness as well as the recognized warm welcome of its population make it one of the most visited countries in the world. For example, in 2018, Morocco recorded 12.3 million arrivals [3]. In 2022, the number of tourists who visited Morocco reached 11 million people, an excellent recovery rate after the Covid-19 period [4]. In 2023, these figures had already been surpassed in the first half of the year alone (from January to June), with 12,197,957 passengers welcomed on Moroccan territory [5]. According to the National Airports Office (ONDA), Morocco's airports recorded a record of more than 27 million passengers in 2023 [6].

[1] https://www.medicaltourism.com/destinations/morocco 

[2] https://www.consulat.ma/fr/liste-des-pays-dont-les-ressortissants-sont-dispenses-du-visa-dentree-au-maroc

[3] https://imis.ma/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IMIS-POLICY-PAPER-MEDICAL-TOURISM-LAST-VA-.pdf

[4] https://telquel.ma/instant-t/2023/07/07/arrivees-touristiques-un-taux-de-recuperation-de-84-en-2022-selon-la-tutelle_1820295/

[5] https://telquel.ma/instant-t/2023/07/17/un-trafic-aerien-record-de-plus-de-12-millions-de-passagers-au-1er-semestre-2023-selon-londa_1821855/

[6] https://telquel.ma/instant-t/2024/01/15/trafic-aerien-un-record-de-plus-de-27-millions-de-passagers-en-2023_1850992/

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Medical care in Morocco

Medical studies are very popular in Morocco and the faculties of medicine and pharmacy welcome hundreds of graduates every year after examinations and competitions. The quality of their training as general practitioners or specialists has made Morocco an academic destination for several countries, mainly African. In addition, most of Moroccan specialists have done partially their training in renowned foreign universities (university hospital centers) and have even worked in european and american public hospitals.     

Similarly, the private medical establishments in Morocco has largely developed over the past twenty years in association with the public medical supply deficiencies. Specific technical platforms for biomedical analysis, specialized centers in oncology, addictology, ophthalmology, and regenerative and anti-aging medicine are continuously emerging providing medical services to the Moroccan public without an appointment. 

Private healthcare establishments offer medical services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with rapid appointments and regular follow-up. Moroccan doctors are very competent and involve the necessary time to ensure efficiency of the medical care provided. Their interventions are focused on the prevention, monitoring and detection of pathologies.

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