About 530 thousand medical tourists visited Russia in the first half of 2019, said the head of the Federal Agency for tourism Zarina doguzova.
UNWTO General Assembly
At the opening of the 23rd session of the General Assembly of the world tourism organization (UNWTO), in St. Petersburg, the head of the Federal tourism Agency spoke. Zarina doguzova told the audience about the development of the export of medical services in the country. In addition, the Minister spoke about the prospects and countries from which patients come to Russia.
“We define for ourselves the direction of medical and health tourism in Russia as promising, where in recent years there has been a positive dynamics. If in 2016, 35 thousand foreign patients received medical care in Russia, in 2017 – 120 thousand, in 2018 – 300 thousand, and in the first half of this year the figure increased to 530 thousand patients,” the head of the Department said, speaking at the 23rd General Assembly of the world tourism organization (UNWTO). Doguzova noted that, according to the Russian Association of medical tourism (OMT), for the treatment in Russia go mainly citizens of the CIS countries.
“The number of medical tourists from China has also doubled over the past year. Demand for Russian medicine is observed among citizens of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Israel. Patients come even from Japan, Vietnam, ” – said Zarina doguzova.
As an example of health tourism, she noted the traditionally popular in the domestic market, but little-known in the world sanatorium treatment in the Stavropol region, in particular – the resort cities of the Caucasian Mineral Waters.
Working with statistics
However, the question of collecting statistics remains open, namely, who collects it and what tools are used. Can we consider the statistics for 2016 and 2018 homogeneous? If we turn to international statistics, one medical tourist spends an average of $3,500 to $7,000. According to colleagues from Ukraine, they have a medical tourist leaves about $2300 – $3500 for a single visit to the country. This means that if we are talking about this type of tourists, the goal of $ 1 billion by 2024 has already been achieved. And if not, who will answer the question, ” where is the money?”
In the near future, colleagues will need to determine the order of calculation of statistics and its homogeneity. It is important to separate the medical tourists who were given a one-time doctor’s appointment and those who are undergoing planned treatment. This is important because only in this way we will be able to understand what resources we have today, where the problem areas are and how to properly use the existing budget.