Russian doctors are among the best in the world, but there are still many barriers to the development of medical tourism
The number of foreigners coming to Russia for treatment has almost doubled over the past two years. In 2016, according to the Russian Association of medical tourism, the country was visited by almost 20,000 medical tourists, the same number — in the first quarter of 2017. The Ministry of health plans to increase this number to 500,000 per year. However, is our system of medical care ready for such a flow of foreign patients? And where are we far behind?
The position of countries in the medical tourism market is changing. If five years ago the leading positions were occupied by the United States, Germany and Israel, today the level of popularity of these countries among medical tourists has fallen dramatically. According to the rating of Health Care Outcome, the top five include Singapore, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Australia. Israel is on the 10th place in the ranking. Active position in the market is occupied by Eastern countries: Thailand, India, Malaysia. For example, more than 3 million people visited Thailand in 2015 and about 1 million people visited Malaysia for treatment.
Russia is gradually becoming a player in this market. Expert portal in the field of medical tourism intmedtourism .com for the first time included Russia in the list of countries where you can get high-quality and relatively inexpensive medical care.
It is the cost of treatment that primarily explains the increased interest of foreigners in Russian medicine. Here, treatment is 2-3 times cheaper than abroad. Thus, the cost of a full diagnostic examination in Germany varies between €1500-15 000, in Israel - €4600-6000, in Russia such a service costs $380-1200. For coronary bypass surgery, the patient in the US will pay €55 000-130 000, and in Russia — $3000-3500. Laser vision correction in the United States costs $4000-5000, and in Russia — $300-600. The course of stereotactic radiation therapy on the installation of "CyberKnife" in Germany will cost an average of €15 000-20 000, in the US — from $20 000 to $200 000, and in our center — 280 000-300 000 rubles (about $4000-5000). At the same time, the quality of treatment in both public and private Russian medical institutions is not worse, and sometimes better, than in European or Israeli clinics. And the qualification of Russian doctors is not lower than that of foreign colleagues.
According to the Minister of health Veronika Skvortsova, foreigners in Russia are mainly interested in high-tech areas in medicine: joint replacement, cardiovascular surgery, dental treatment, eye microsurgery, in vitro fertilization, Oncology. In short, all those areas in which Russian doctors have made significant progress. For example, the effectiveness of IVF in domestic clinics is 40% higher than in Europe, and the treatment itself is more affordable. Thus, more than half of the patients came from Italy, where such reproductive technologies have long been banned. 20% come from the UK, where there are huge queues for donor biomaterials. Many patients from Israel, as there are age restrictions for IVF. There are no such problems in Russia.
Mostly patients come here from CIS countries — more than 70% of the total flow of medical tourists. About 13% are residents of the Baltic States and Northern Europe, 10% — tourists from Central Europe, South-West Asia and China.
Why few patients from the US
Only 4% of all visitors are patients from the US and UK. This is due to the fact that in these countries there is an unspoken ban on treatment in Russia. As the Director of the scientific center of cardiovascular surgery told them. Ahh. Bakuleva, academician Leo Bokeria, foreign doctors are jealous of their patients, especially if they go for treatment to Russian specialists: "a six-year-old child from the United States of America was brought to me. But when the day of operation was already appointed, mother came and told that she was called from the house and in categorical form demanded to return the child home. Another example-one large insurance company has signed a contract with us for the treatment of patients from Asia and Africa. But it stalled. As I explained later, they in the UK openly explained that if they bring to us at least one patient, their business will have problems".
However, in Russia, in addition to open discrediting of domestic medical centers abroad, there are other problems. According to the President of the Russian Association of medical tourism Konstantin Onishchenko, the level of service is far behind. In addition, it is important for foreign patients to provide an expanded range of services, which will include not only treatment and rehabilitation procedures for him, but also accommodation options for relatives who accompany him.
It is important that medical professionals speak English. However, according to the Ministry of health, only 10-12% of doctors speak a foreign language, which greatly limits their ability to treat patients from other countries.
The Ministry of health is now actively developing a program to attract foreign tourists. Target regions are formed: Moscow, North-West and Novosibirsk. One of the components of such a program is the rating of medical institutions, which will be evaluated by the level of equipment, qualification of doctors, the number of services provided.
However, it is necessary to finalize other points. It is important to provide the infrastructure properly, to introduce medical visas for foreign patients and their relatives. It is necessary to cooperate with assistance companies that are engaged in the organization of treatment, including abroad. You also need to use marketing tools-domestic centers simply do not know how to sell their medical services. Having solved these problems, we can count on the influx of medical tourists. In the meantime, if this process will develop, it is not as fast as we would like.
http:// www. forbes. ru/biznes/355967-lechitsya-v-rossii-est-li-perspektivy-u-medicinskogo-turizma