Solvent Russian patients do not rely their health on domestic health facilities considering their price doesn’t correspond their service quality, so they go to treat abroad. As a result, in 2014 the market volume of the exit medical tourism in Russia was about 1 billion euro. So, according to the British marketers’ suppositions who have searched the market that is really not the limit.
It’s not the money, it’s all about relationship
In spite of the deterioration of the economic situation and rough rubl devaluation, the Russians haven’t lost their interest in treatment and recovery abroad. Even conversely the inquiry for medical service out of Russia is rising yearly approximately on the average of 20%.
The marketers group from Great Britain headed by Kim Vaddup, who is the owner of the Aigroup Company, have arranged the survey of the Russian medical tourism market within «Treatment Abroad» Medshow Exhibition taken place in Moscow last year in September. According to the research data, more than 70 thousand of Russian citizens went abroad in 2014. They paid by currency savings for much higher medical service level.
As for the medical assistance level rating «The League of patients rights protection» Russia takes the poor 130th position. As Russian medical specialists say, that is the result of the post-operative care absence. And that is despite the fact the operation could be done ideally. The Russian surgeons’ qualification is known far outside the country, and their craftsmanship is estimated like gold one but still only «outside».
«But the point is not only in that, — said Mr.Vaddul during our exclusive interview. — The main point is a doctor’s attitude to a patient. It’s not ok with that in Russia. The echoes of the «punitive» soviet medicine have been showing their bad result even by today. This fact as well as frequent unreal prices for services giving by some clinics including some difficulties with the transparency and control of the payment for treatment make the Russians seek more optimal medical service abroad».
Where do we go?
The research showed Germany is still the most popular country among Russian patients. More than 28% of patients go exactly there for treating abroad. The main parts of them are children with hard diagnosis. Their treatment is organized by approximately 300 of intermediary companies. Most of the German clinics open pages on their sites in Russian and hire Russian-speaking operators.
The main competitor with Germany in the fight for foreign patients is Israel. A few years ago the health reform was made there. Before that time all the money for treating foreigners was enrolled into budget and now the lion’s share is left in clinics. That gave the main incentive for «hunting» for foreign patients. According to expert estimates the profit of such patients’ treatment will soon be more than 100 million USD per year. The main part of the patients here are from Russia, as well as from the USA, as the treatment in Israel for the Americans is much cheaper than at their home country.
The rather popular directions among Russian clients are Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain, Thailand, Japan and USA.
In 2014 the chief interest for such directions of the medical tourism as Turkey and China was noticed. Also patients are discovering India and Korea, where along with the innovative methodic the methodology of the traditional Oriental Medicine is used.
Diseases-foes, who are you?
According to the statistics of the Medshow Exhibition organizers, the Russians are mostly interested in treatment of cancer and vascular diseases. The highest enquiry for medical examinations is noticed in such spheres like ophthalmology, gynecology and cardiology.
«More than 43% of patients need at least the right diagnosis as local doctors can’t get into agreement regarding the patient’s state — says Kim Vaddul, — Mostly patients already know their diagnosis but can’t get satisfactive treatment in Russia, so they look for a specialized clinic abroad. As a rule, such people decide to do it only when their opportunities to solve the problem with the health at home country have already been tried. Not seldom going abroad becomes the last chance to get effective treatment and even to save life.
23% of the patients go for surgical treatment with the following rehabilitation. Plastic surgery takes approximately 10%. It’s very actual for Russian-speaking clients, especially for women. But over the last years more and more men also turn to plastic surgeons to improve their appearance. For example, Moscovites ask for such services like blepharoplasty go to Minsk where the operation cost is much cheaper, and the doctors are much responsive.
As for the foreign dentists, 12% of Russians going for treatment are ready to turn to them. Also 12% want to make their health better in foreign sanatoriums and SPA-centers.
As for the price we will see…
The prices asked for the same disease treatment in different countries can significantly vary.
It’s costly to treat in the countries of Western Europe, and that is the undisputed fact. But still the practice and qualification level of medical specialists, the level of the medical equipment and modern technologies use chiefly define the world standards.
The medical service by top foreign clinics’ prices, according to the Medshow data, can afford not more than 11% of Russians ready to pay for the treatment abroad more than 25 thousand euro. In addition they would have to take into account the peculiarities of pricing in different countries. For example, the clinics of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, because of the reason of the records regarding medical risks, give some overvalued advance estimate for the treatment and, as a rule, make unclaimed costs return to the patients after treatment. As for Israel the situation is likely vice versa there. Not rarely the estimate is prepared by minimum, and the surcharge is made during treatment.
Meanwhile, over the last years the rough development of medical branch in such countries like Turkey, Thailand and some other ones, according to such criteria like treatment effectiveness, examination’s accuracy, technical equipment, patient’s comfort, puts these countries in one line with the leaders of the world health save. As for the prices they are significantly lower. 42% of the Russians taken part in the research will be able to go to these countries. Their financial status will allow them to invest more than 10 thousand euro for a good cause — their health.