Russia’s market for medical services has received an unexpectedly beneficial boost following the economic crisis. Medical tourism is gaining even more momentum. Together with the advent of health-care optimization reforms, Russians have become extremely interested in treatment abroad. One of the favorite places for this kind of travel, along with the traditional Israel, Germany and Canada, is Italy. Foreign medical companies now consider the Russian market one of their priorities. Among these, for example, is GVM Care & Research, one of the largest Italian companies. Advanced technologies, medical innovations and highly qualified doctors are already available in an Italian clinic in central Moscow. What’s more, GVM Care & Research’s diagnostic center is one of the few, if not the only one, in the country where foreigners can receive support in English and Italian.
The global medical tourism industry is estimated by experts at USD439 bln, and the figure may rise to USD3 trillion by 2025, according to a joint study of Visa and Oxford Economics called the Global 2016 Medical Tourism Index (MTI). Italy, according to the study, is among the top ten most attractive countries for medical tourism. It is also in the top ten in the Bloomberg ranking of medical care. The World Health Organization, which makes the most comprehensive global estimates of the health system, ranks Italy second.
What makes Italy so attractive? First, it is advanced technology. For example, GVM Care & Research invests most of its revenue each year in innovation. Indeed, the Institute of Clinical Cardiology in Rome is famous throughout the world for its technology and procedures in interventional cardiology, hemodynamics, electrophysiology, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery.
Second, Italian clinics have highly qualified specialists. For example, Maria Cecilia Hospital is famous for its arrhythmology and electrophysiology center. It is also one of the leading centers in the world for treatment of diabetic foot and for thoracic surgery and neurosurgery, for which they prefer to use noninvasive techniques such as the gamma knife (for stereotactic radiosurgery of brain pathologies).
Third, it is wellness tourism meaning both physical and mental restoration. Along with Austria, Germany and Spain, Italy is considered a leader in wellness tourism. Mud baths, balneotherapy, inhalation, gynecological treatments with thermal water and mud, hydrotherapy — you can enjoy all of this, for example, at the Terme di Castrocaro wellness clinic.
Unfortunately, Russia cannot boast of a high position for its health system. According to Bloomberg, it is the penultimate, 54th place for the quality of medical services. The MTI index places it 34th out of 41. The WHO puts Russia in 130th place, even behind most of the post-Soviet republics. And the economic crisis and optimization of medical services do not foster optimism. However, it is the crisis that attracted foreign investment in the medical field. A taste of la dolce vita can be enjoyed right in the center of Moscow – GVM has opened a clinic on Smolensky Pereulok. The Italians see the GVM diagnostic center in Moscow as their calling card and they intend to expand in Russian regions.
Founded in 1973, GVM Care & Research began with the opening of a nursing home in the province of Ravenna, in Cotignola. Today the holding company has a leading place in the country in the fields of health, thermal therapy and medical, and scientific research with a network of 23 hospitals and five clinics in Italy and seven clinical centers in France, Poland and Albania.
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