The development of medical tourism in St. Petersburg started at the end of 2016, when Georgy Poltavchenko signed a Memorandum with the world tourism organization on the joint development of the city as a tourist center, including medical. Since this year, the headquarters of the Russian Association of medical tourism has opened in St. Petersburg, which cooperates with several major clinics and medical institutions of the city.
Experts say that medical tourism is a promising for St. Petersburg direction, but to reach the highest international standards, it takes years.
Cheaper, easier, more popular
Medical tourism entered the program of development of St. Petersburg until 2023, for these purposes will spend a total of about 3 billion rubles. At SPIEF 2018, several medical institutions showed interest in medical tourism. It is known that this direction is actively developing In the center of them. Almazov, Medical Institute.S. Berezina, as well as in the Children's city hospital.K. Rauhfus also to cooperate with the medical tourism Agency is considering to join the system of clinics "Copper".
"According to the forecasts of the world tourism organization, by 2020 the number of international tourists will grow to 1.6 billion, about 3-4% of the world's population will go abroad for treatment and rehabilitation, and medical tourism will become one of the most priority directions of development of national economies", - the President of the Association of medical tourism, General Director of" Kinesis", Igor Platonov.
According to Platonov, medical tourism in St. Petersburg can be developed only with state support. Now, according to him, the city has a good potential for this, which supports the presence of the old medical school, a fairly large number of clinics equipped with the most modern standards, as well as low prices.
"A number of clinics have been certified and have international ISO certificates. I think that in St. Petersburg it is advisable to develop the most popular areas for foreign patients, such as Oncology, cardiology, cardiac surgery, ophthalmology, dentistry, orthopedics, assisted reproductive technologies, plastic surgery and neurosurgery," he said.
One of the first clinics, which successfully began to move towards the provision of medical services to tourists - MIBS im. S. Berezina. According to the Chairman of the Board of the Institute Arkady Stolpner, IIBS has relied on the introduction of high technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Treatment for tourists to radiosurgery and radiotherapy facilities at the Cancer clinic MIBS costs about 200-400 rubles for the course. The course of proton therapy in the center of proton therapy IIB 1.8 million rubles, that is less than $30 thousand, which, according to Stolpner, several times lower than in clinics in Europe and the United States.
"The level of technical equipment of IIB is not inferior to the leading cancer centers in Europe and the United States, and some surpasses. Thus, not all European cancer clinics and even not all European countries have proton therapy centers, where cancer is treated with the most modern technology today - with the help of protons. Because of the large flow of patients, our specialists also often have much more experience than their European colleagues, and our team is introducing new methods and developments. For example, we treated a patient from Serbia, who could not find a clinic in Europe, where the melanoma of the choroid of the eye would be treated with radiosurgical methods. We have this operation is carried out on a gamma knife with the preservation of the organ and vision," he said.
Now, according to Stolpner, tourists come to IIBS mainly from the countries of the former Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Ukraine, the Baltic States, Armenia. One of the first patients was sent to the center of proton therapy by colleagues from Israel, because there are no own proton centers. Also, a large flow of tourists comes from the regions of Russia.
"We have signed a cooperation agreement with the Israeli health insurance Fund, and the first patients from this country have already appeared. We hope that over time the flow will grow. If we talk about numbers. In the cancer clinic, we annually conduct radiation treatment for about 3 thousand people, visitors make up more than 70% of the patient flow. About 15% of the flow are foreigners. The capacity of the proton therapy Center is 800 patients per year, but we will gradually reach this figure, and this year we plan to treat about 200 people. Visitors will make about 45%, " the expert said.
General Director of JSC "Medi" Marina Kasumova told " DP "that the clinic has just started to develop a program of medical tourism, but they plan to work in different directions:" Dentistry, cosmetology, plastic surgery, laser vision correction, family medicine. I think that laser vision correction and plastic surgery can become the flagship in the development of medical tourism".
Not so rosy.
David Tsyrlin, CEO of Remote Diagnostic Support (RDS), questions the quality of Russian medical services, highlighting the attractiveness for foreigners only dentistry and a number of neurological disciplines that are well developed in Russia. RDS is engaged in the provision of telemedicine services with foreign specialists, as well as the organization of medical tourism for St. Petersburg residents in Germany and Israel.
"Foreign patients may be interested in dentistry, because it is cheaper here with a fairly high quality of services. But in plastic surgery, I doubt it carries too high risks for medical companies, and therefore the price-quality ratio is comparable with foreign services of this kind. We must understand that foreigners will not go shaft. For example, in my practice, German specialists make very serious demands, which not all Russian clinics meet. It is most often about research protocols. Perhaps, foreigners will go on separate branches of medicine. For example, in cases where a number of studies are not carried out in routine practice in the medical centers of their countries, which makes the research itself quite difficult. However, to be honest, to make them in Russia easier and more affordable," he notes.
He also notes that for the development of medical tourism in St. Petersburg lacks good management: "Part of medical tourism, with which you can take the money and with which you need to take the money - it is a service component, that is, specifically the tourist part. For example, in Germany, when a patient comes to the country with his wife, they are met at the airport by a car with a driver, and in addition to visiting a doctor, they have a schedule of shopping, restaurants, excursions and everything else. This is a good model with which you need to take an example. The patient must pay the travel company, which will organize the service and negotiate with the clinic. Need management, but not medical, and tourist. Roughly speaking, the medical component there can be for 100 rubles, but tourism can be done for 10 thousand Medical companies in St. Petersburg do not know how to engage in tourism. It is necessary to develop it in the first place, and to add preventive medicine to it".
As for tourists from the regions, Tsyrlin draws attention to the fact that they can legally receive medical services in St. Petersburg clinics for free: "you can come to pay for local medical services, and you can get everything for free. Simply, patients often do not know that they can just come to a hypothetical medical center for a polyclinic reception and, if there are indications, undergo quite expensive procedures at the expense of the territorial Fund of their region, if there are quotas in the medical institution, that is, free space for these patients. The most important thing is that it is quite legal from the point of view of the medical center," he explained.
Evgeny Samus, expert in marketing and customer focus in medicine and Creator of the training program in medical marketing, notes that two main types of tourists should be separated: those who came from other regions of Russia to be treated in St. Petersburg, and foreign medical tourists. For the second primarily lack of personnel with language skills.
"I will immediately start talking about the service, as tourism is primarily a service and customer focus. Naturally, the majority of Russians from small and remote cities will be delighted with the quality of service and the level of equipment of St. Petersburg medical institutions, both public and private. But, using the experience of quality audits in medical institutions, I can say with confidence that the European level of service is extremely rare, and the language barrier is almost everywhere. My partner from Switzerland needed a dentist urgently a month ago, I was not in the city, I made more than 50 calls to find an English-speaking dentist-orthopedist. For the development of the reception of foreign patients see promising dentistry and Spa treatment, as both at a decent level of quality is in St. Petersburg is much cheaper. But let's not forget that there is a staff starvation, there are few English-speaking doctors, there are practically no English-speaking administrators, there are not enough medical translators. I believe more in the development of domestic medical tourism, as for the reception of foreigners will be quite a lot of translation difficulties, both literally and with regards to the service", - he said.
www.dp. ru/ a /2018/08/21/S _ chemodanom _ na _ lechenie __ CH