Medical travel from Russia – facts and numbers

Chinese medicine, chinese pharmacy

Chinese medicine ©Matteo X/Flickr

What mostly fuels medical travel in Russia as well as many other countries all over the world are the continuously rising medical costs and also the long lines of waiting in domestic hospitals. Generally speaking medical tourists can save 50%, 70% but sometimes even 90% by traveling to receive the same medical services abroad. ©

Now about 200,000 Russians enforce the medical travel industry every year spending about $2.5 billion on treatments, accommodation and other related services. Now let us see what are the facts and numbers behind medical travel in Russia!

Medical travel to Israel

Israel is most definitely a top destination for Russian patients because of its proximity, its well prepared doctors and very modern facilities. Actually many Russian physicians travel to Israel now to learn about new technologies and procedures so that later they can use them at home.

Israel private hospital

Israel private hospital ©David Lisbona/Flickr

Only in 2012 about 50,000 Russians traveled to the country for different medical services contributing to Israel’s economy with an incredible $1 billion.

Problems with services in Russia

While only 10% of the country’s population is living in Moscow, the capital and it’s area gives home to 90% of the best medical facilities and physicians.

Also, some of the intermediaries, the third party companies that connect patients with hospitals abroad have very high prices for their services. Medical procedures may cost a lot less in other countries, but if we sum that up with the ridiculously high fees of intermediaries, than it is almost the same as staying in Russia.

That is why medical tourists from Russia – and anywhere else actually – have to be very careful about choosing not only the facilities for their treatments but also those they trust with getting them into these facilities and finding their doctors. Keep in mind: only accredited hospitals and only accredited agents!

Russian health care fights back!

There are new initiatives now in Russia to regain the trust and loyalty of patients and prevent them to go abroad. Doctors train in foreign countries to become experts in Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, homeopathy as well as traditional, but more modern, solutions, so they can bring their knowledge home.

Chinese medicine, chinese pharmacy

Chinese medicine Matteo X/Flickr

They say that Russian doctors can understand and treat Russian patients better because they share their lifestyle, cultural background and there are no language barriers…

In any way, it is good that at least a part of health care providers are trying to keep their people at home. Actually, if we are talking about medical tourism, there are plenty of things to see in Russia as well!



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