The Russian Federation is determined to expand the medical tourism market with a conference to discuss medical tourism having been held in Moscow. 13 countries and over 40 tourism companies were represented. Sergei Shpilko of the Russian Tourist Industry Union says, “Medical tourism is a very interesting direction in the development of the tourist sector, however, it is just beginning to develop in Russia.” Organizers of the conference add, “The goal of this conference is to encourage the development of medical tourism in the Russian market, attract attention of tourist companies to this kind of tourism, promote the expansion of possibilities of rest and treatment for people who suffer from different ailments and need special services.”
According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Russia has the 9th largest outbound tourism market in terms of expenditure, and it is increasing by 14% per annum. MITT, the 18th Moscow International Travel & Tourism
exhibition, is Russia’s number one exhibition for the travel industry and one of the top five travel exhibitions in the world. MITT takes place every year in March Last year, the medical tourism sector proved a popular attraction for visitors and it returned this year. The medical Congress, MHTC, complemented the exhibition and featured presentations by key representatives of the sector. Medical tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Russian travel industry, as the ever more health-conscious population seeks more advanced technology, better healthcare, or faster medical services abroad.
Residents of Ukraine and Russia are choosing foreign clinics for a number of reasons. This includes the continuing growth of medical costs in their homelands, and also concerns over low qualification of the doctors, which leads to uncertainty in the diagnoses and in the quality of the locally offered services. Russians are traveling to Israel for operational and sanatorium treatment of various diseases, which vary from cardio-vascular diseases to oncology, dermatology, orthopedic, IVF, and others.
Although inbound Russian medical tourism is still new, neighbour Ukraine is more developed. Medicare Europe
has a new partnership with the largest cardiology centre in Ukraine and Eastern Europe – Kyiv Municipal Heart Centre. Medicare Europe Ltd is a British based medical tourism agency specializing in Central and Eastern Europe. State-of-the-art Kyiv City Heart Centre is the largest and most modern cardio hospital in Ukraine, founded in 2007. The hospital offers procedures including heart valve replacement, heart transplant, coronary bypass, and cardiac procedure for heart and valve diseases. Pavel Oltarzhevskyy of Medicare Europe says, “Ukraine has more than 30 000 medical tourists a year.”