Proving that medical tourism is not all about providing treatment at the lowest price, Switzerland continues to increase the number of medical tourists attracted by high quality treatment, top of the range care and outstanding customer service-despite being one of the most expensive destinations.
While known for medical treatment, an increasing numbers of foreigners are visiting Switzerland for cosmetic surgery treatment such as liposuction, face-lifts, and breast surgery. Also, says Gregor Frei of Swiss Health, “There is increasing demand for reconstructive surgery after an accident or treatment for breast cancer.” Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery now accounts for just under 10% of all medical tourism.
H+, the Swiss hospital association, represents 300 hospitals and estimates that between 1 and 2% of all patients come from abroad, although it could be much higher. Switzerland’s largest private healthcare group, Hirslanden, has 14 hospitals and is seeking annual growth of 10 % in foreign patients within the next five years. It gets many patients from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Switzerland’s main markets are the Gulf states, Russia, China, and former Soviet countries. The European economy and political changes have led to drastic reductions in business from Egypt, Syria and Greece.
The agency Swixmed says,” For people coming here for medical treatment, they are impressed by the strong positive influence of traditional Swiss values: precision, reliability, punctuality, kindness, cleanliness and discretion. Switzerland is neutral and politically stable, and has excellent infrastructure for travel and tourism. Switzerland has a long history of medical tourism and patients from around the world travel here to profit from the incomparable quality and range of the medical treatment. Every year we get patients from 30 or more countries.“ Many Swixmed clients are referred by private banks and one in three customers pays via a Swiss bank account.
Rayan Partners is an agency offering services from a network of top Swiss clinics and spas,including anti aging clinics. In the network are also private banks, colleges and universities. So it finds that many clients from these sectors are now also interested in health tourism. Anna Kosmina of Rayan Partners says they get 20 cosmetic surgery enquiries a week, “It is all about quality.” The company also offers a VIP tourism concierge service.