Inbound medical tourism is one of the most important directions of development of Ukrainian tourism. In this article we will talk about why foreigners come to Ukraine for treatment.
Over the past decade, the number of citizens of other countries who have visited Ukraine as part of inbound medical tourism has been steadily increasing. In 2019, this figure approached 100 thousand. And if in 2010 it was mainly representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora, in 2015-2019 it was foreigners who made up the majority of medical tourists. At the same time their number increases every year. According to forecasts, these dynamics will continue and intensify in the future.
Over the past 10 years, the geography of inbound medical tourists has expanded greatly. These include patients from France, England, Italy, Germany, Canada, the USA, Israel, China, and the Arab World.
Why foreigners choose treatment in Ukraine, next door to Poland
- Low prices in comparison with western clinics with similarly good treatment results. On average the cost of services rendered by Ukrainian doctors is 2-3 times lower than that of their foreign colleagues.
- Large number of positive treatment outcomes.
- Loyal visa policy for foreign citizens from a large number of countries.
- Tolerant or non-existent legislation in the area of reproductive medicine, cell therapy and surrogacy.
- Wide choice of specialists and use of unique methods.
- Lack of queues and long waiting times. In Ukraine, it is possible to make an appointment with a narrow specialist today for tomorrow. As is well known, in Europe it takes months to receive an appointment.
These advantages are decisive for foreigners. It is because of optimal price-quality ratio they come to Ukrainian clinics for treatment.
The main areas of inbound medical tourism:
- Dentistry is the most popular destination, with 27% of patients coming specifically for this service.
- Reproductive medicine is another popular field of medical services. It is known that artificial insemination technologies are widely used in Ukraine, while egg donation and surrogacy are not yet regulated by law. This makes Ukraine an attractive destination for women from all over the world who dream to have a baby.
- Plastic surgery, aesthetic medicine and cosmetology. 14% of tourists come to Ukraine to get plastic surgery services.
- Sanatorium treatment and rehabilitation. Some Ukrainian rehabilitation centers utilize unique rehabilitation techniques which provide good rehabilitation results for patients with autism and cerebral palsy.
- Other areas including ophthalmology, cardiology, infertility treatment and cell therapy.
Today in Ukraine there are about 200 private and state clinics, which regularly receive foreigners. Many of them are actively introducing related services, such as booking airline tickets, transfers, translation services, etc.
The active development of inbound medical tourism has a beneficial effect on the quality of medical services. After all, there is healthy competition between clinics in the fight for foreign patients. In the fight for “their” patients’ medical establishments acquire innovative equipment, improve personnel skills and level of service.
And this, in turn, attracts even more foreign patients to Ukrainian medical institutions.
The abovementioned gives serious prerequisites for further development of inbound medical tourism and in the future a large-scale entrance of Ukraine to the international market of medical services.