Since 1999 the Kingdom of Jordan has been redeveloping its economy in an attempt to establish itself as a first world country. This redevelopment has lead to a number of changes throughout the country, which are still ongoing, and has meant that the Jordanian population is beginning to experience a much higher standard of living than ever before. One sector that is benefiting enormously from the revitalization of the Jordanian economy is the healthcare industry.
Jordan spends approximately US$ 325 million, or 9% of the nation's total GDP, a year on healthcare and medical services. Of this approximately US$ 168 million are spent by the government on public healthcare and has driven the growth of the public healthcare system in the country and contributed to the development of hospitals and clinics in areas that were previously without medical services.
This is not to say, however, that the standard of treatment at these public facilities is high, but merely that treatment options now exist in areas where they previously did not. Despite the low quality of care and treatment options in many parts of the country Jordan has placed great emphasis on healthcare development in the country's capital, Amman. The Jordanian government is in the middle of a project intended to make the country the medical hub of the Middle East, and by looking at the way that countries like Thailand (the medical tourism capital of the world) have developed their healthcare industry Jordan has made major inroads in their effort to provide top flight medical services and facilities.
Despite all this, however, the fact remains that the quality of care at many public hospitals and clinics in Jordan is woefully low. Private medical institutions have helped to cover the gaps in the public system and it is because of the private institutions that Jordan is a world leader in cardiovascular surgery, kidney transplants, laparoscopic procedures, and plastic surgery. These institutions however are much too expensive for many Jordanian nationals to contemplate using, and at present the Jordanian government is contemplating reforms that may see the average costs drastically drop across the nation's medical industry.
These reforms may be a two sided blade however, as regulating hospital prices would deprive many of the private medical facilities the income that they need in order to remain at the forefront of medicine. However as the situation stands at the moment it is not just Jordanian nationals who are finding these high quality facilities expensive, but a goodly proportion of the nations expatriate population is struggling to cover the costs of healthcare out-of-pocket.
Despite the high costs associated with the country's best hospitals and clinics Jordan has proven that it has much to offer in the way of healthcare services. With a number of new state-of-the-art hospitals under construction Jordan is proving to the world that it is looking towards the next generation of medical technology and treatment, and covering the needs of not only its own citizens, but the entire Middle East region.
As it stands now Jordan may be able to offer you the high quality services that you deserve, but these services will come at a high cost and may not always be accessible. The only way to truly protect yourself and your loved ones while overseas is with a quality Jordan expat health insurance plan. We can offer global health insurance plans to expatriates in Jordan that will offer you a number of comprehensive benefits, are globally portable, and guaranteed renewable for life. This means that no matter what happens, even if you should ever leave Jordan and relocate to another country, your health and the health of your family will be in safe hands.
- One of the major concerns that many foreign nationals have in regards to staying or relocating to Jordan is in regards to the state of the nation's healthcare system. While the country can offer a fairly high quality of healthcare this is generally limited to medical facilities located in and around Amman . Outside of Amman medical services are extremely primitive and will only be able to offer rudimentary care.
Jordan Travel Tips
While Jordan has a reputation as an extremely hospitable place, it can be difficult to know how to act or behave while in a country that is not your own. It is for this reason that we have provided some advice on the local laws and customs in Jordan that you should be aware of.
There is a high threat of terrorism in Jordan due to the ongoing tensions throughout the Middle East . Terrorist attacks can be indiscriminate; however places that are frequented by foreigners and tourists are at more risk than the rest of the country.
When in Jordan you should take extra precautions when dealing with personal security arrangements. Despite the generally low levels of crime throughout the country there have been recent reports of violent crime, including rape and sexual assault, directed towards foreigners, especially females.If you are planning to cross the Jordanian border into Israel or Iraq you should stay alert at all times. Be aware that foreign nationals may be refused entry into Iraq , and the land crossing into Israel may take a number of hours due to strict customs laws. You are advised not to use Jordanian taxi services when crossing the border.
The main type of incident for which foreign nationals may require consular assistance is with regards to illness. You are advised to obtain medical insurance that will cover you in Jordan before you arrive.
Due to the political situation in the Middle East there may be occasional social disturbances. You should stay tuned to local media and be alert for any shifts in political thought. Do not become involved in any public demonstrations or antagonize local sensitivities.
Conditions on Jordanian roads are poor. There are a high number of accidents throughout the country, and you should avoid driving a private vehicle wherever possible if you are not used to the traffic conditions in the Kingdom.
The police and military will set up random checkpoints on roads throughout the country. You should always have possession of valid identification in the event that you encounter one of these roadblocks.
Jordan is a Muslim country and as such many, of the local laws and customs will reflect Islamic traditions. You should respect Islamic traditions and sensitivities, especially during religious holidays, such as Ramadan. As Jordan is a conservative country you should dress and act modestly.
Homosexuality is illegal in Jordan , public displays of affection between same sex couples can result in fines and long term prison sentences. These same punishments are applicable to anyone convicted of possession or trafficking of narcotics and controlled substances.
While foreigners are allowed to practice their own religions it is highly illegal for anyone to encourage conversion to Christianity. A Muslim who converts to Christianity can face the death penalty.
If you intend to reside in Jordan for a period of more than 3 months, either as a resident or visitor, you must take an HIV test. If you are HIV positive you may be asked to leave the country.
If you wish to travel to Saudi Arabia or Syria from Jordan you must obtain these visas before arriving in the Kingdom. If your passport contains immigration stamps from Israel you will be denied entry into Saudi Arabia and Syria from Jordan , even if you have a valid visa.
Jordan is currently undergoing an economic boom and the nation is attempting to redefine the way that it is perceived by the rest of the world. As a direct consequence of this, more and more foreign nationals are traveling or permanently relocating to the country. In an effort to better help you understand the country before you arrive we have provided some general information about the Kingdom of Jordan.
Please be advised that the information contained on this page is meant for reference purposes only, and is liable to change without warning. For up-to-date information about the Kingdom of Jordan please consult an expert.
Official Name: Officially referred to as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the country is also simply known as Jordan. Jordanian nationals will refer to the Kingdom as Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah or Al Urdun for short. From 1920 – 1946 the country was named Transjordan.
Capital: The capital of Jordan is Amman.
Location: Jordan is located in the Middle East and shares land borders with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Syria. Jordan also borders the West Bank and Golan Heights, however it may not be possible to cross the border at these locations. The Kingdom is also located on the shores of the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba.
Size: Jordan has a total area of 92,300 square kilometers. In comparative terms this means that the nation is slightly smaller than the American state of Indiana.
Climate: The climate in Jordan is arid. There is an annual wet season in the western part of the country from November to April, however the landscape in the East is mostly desert and as such experiences very little precipitation.
Population: Jordan has a total estimated population of 6,053,193 meaning that it is ranked 104 th in the world in terms of population size. The Kingdom is also one of the least densely populated places in the world, placing 107 th in the world.
Life expectancy at birth: The Jordanian population has an average life expectancy of 78.55 years from birth. Males are expected to live approximately 76.04 years while females will generally live to 81.22 years of age.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS: It is estimated that only 600 people in the Kingdom of Jordan are living with HIV/Aids. This figure is equal to less than 0.1% of the total population and can be attributed to the tight controls used by the Jordanian government to limit exposure to the disease.
Major illnesses: There are a number of major health threats in Jordan. Hepatitis, especially Hepatitis B is common throughout the country and can easily be spread through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. Typhoid is also a major health threat as are complications of dehydration.
Ethnic Groups: Jordan boasts a fairly homogenous society with 98% of the population claiming Arab ethnicity. The remaining 2% of the population is split between individuals of Armenian and Circassian descent.
Languages: Arabic is Jordan's official language, however, English is widely spoken throughout the country, especially by the middle classes.
Religion: The majority of the Jordanian population consider themselves to be Sunni Muslims. Christianity is practiced by, approximately, 6% of the population (mainly Balkan Orthodox churches, however Roman Catholic and protestant parishes can be found). 2% of the population identify as practicing a non mainstream religion (Shi'a Muslims and Druze).
Government: The Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. As such the King is the head of state and is the ultimate approver of any new legislation. The king can be overridden, however, if 2/3's of the National Assembly vote in favour of the decision (for or against). The national assembly consists of two houses and all seats are contested in democratic elections. Jordan has universal suffrage.
Head of State: The Jordanian head of state is King Abdullah II. Crown Prince Hussein is the rightful heir to the throne and first in the line of succession.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Nader al-Dahabi is the head of the government.
Military: Jordan boasts a sizeable military comprising of an Army, Air Force and Navy. Military conscription for males aged 18 was abolished in 1999, however all males under the age of 37 are still required to register with the Armed forces. Women are not eligible for combat service, however they can enlist in the Jordanian armed forces and carry out non-combat duties. Currently Jordan spends approximately 8.6% of the total GDP on the military.
Economy: The Jordanian economy is limited in ways that are not familiar to the rest of the Middle East. Jordan does not boast any significant natural resources such as oil, natural gas, or water. Much of the country lives in poverty, and problems such as high inflation and unemployment have only served to antagonize the problems that are inherent in the nation's economy. Since 1999, however, the Jordanian government and King Abdullah have instituted a number of sweeping economic reforms that have seen the Jordanian debt significantly decrease and standards of living rise dramatically. With this has come the start of an economic boom and has seen levels of foreign investment and interest in the country rise.
GDP: Jordan has a purchasing power parity of US$ 30.3 billion and an actual GDP of US$ 12.53 billion. Jordan has the 97 th highest GDP in the world according to the IMF.