Medical tourism:How to attract the patients from Russia to Croatia?


According to the date from 2013 around 6,2 million Russia users of Yandex every month searches for medical services abroad. More than10 thousand people every month on Yandex, Russian browser, looks for “health treatments in Germany”. We will try in a this short review why are Russians so interested for health treatments abroad and how can Croatian clinics become concurrent on this market with high competition. In 2010,from 12 million Russians who travelled abroad, 120 thousand (1%) travelled because of medical help. In 2011 Russian Citybank made research of total expenses of Russians on credit cards abroad. The research showed that Russians during the year spent for health treatments in foreign clinics around milliard dollars.


This significant sum of Russian health system was the reason for separate meeting of Russian government in 2012. They came to some conclusions, brought some decisions, even though the money for health treatments of Russians still goes out of country. Even more, this amount grows every year. This high interest in foreign medicine explains that Russians are not satisfied with the Russian medicine. Russians are not, in total, satisfied with health system. According to the data from the sociologist, 53% of surveyed citizens of Russian Federation grade Russian health system as “bad”, 40% called it “satisfactorily”, and only 5% of Russians “good”. Even the doctors don’t have high opinion about medicine system. Around 34% of the doctors thinks  that medical system in Russia is not satisfactorily.. With not doubt , Russia has modern medical centres, highly qualified doctors, but they don’t have quality services, and many Russians don’t like (and in some cases can’t wait) to wait for half a year and more. That’s way they travel abroad.


Israel (45%) and Germany (20%) take first positions among countries popular for Russians medical tourists. High interest and trust in medicine of those countries, has the reason that there is not language barrier (many doctors in Germany and Israel are from USSR origin), relatively close by geographical position  (for European part of Russia) and high status of medical services of those countries. They are followed by Turkey, Singapore, Swiss, France and Eastern Europe countries such as Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Lithuania.


During many years, the biggest demand is still in cardiology and cardiac surgery, transplantation, eye surgery, oncology, orthopedics, plastic, neurosurgery or for all those fields that requires modern and actual technology for medical treatments and diagnosis. There is often, the demand for midwife services, diagnosis and check up programs, medical rehabilitation


Among foreign health centres, Russians give the advantage to countries of Middle and Eastern Europe, including Balkan and Pri Baltic countries (66%), Western and North Europe, including Island (44%), North East and South east Asia (40%). According to the survey, when visiting health centre Russians give advantage to treatments with natural resources; thermal water (63%), healing mineral water springs (61%) and healing mud (46%), general therapeutic treatments  (35%), cosmetics procedures (32%),bandages (26%) and inhalation (18%). First place takes massage (67%). Unfortunately, Croatia is yet not in first 15 countries where Russians go for health tourism, despite the high quality of medical services offered in Croatian clinics. The reason is simple: Russian patients simply don’t know that Croatia, apart from traditional tourism, has wide range of medical tourist services. Russians know almost nothing about Croatian dental medicine- that enjoys great popularity among Europeans. There are not known to Russians, Croatian health centres- thermal and mineral water, healing mud, natural sanatoriums.


The researches show that the choice of clinics depend on : doctor’s recommendation (8%), image of the country as “medical brand” (10%), reputation or clinic profile (22%), service charge (25%), advise by friends ,advises on specialized forums on Internet, publications on specialized portal, advise in groups on social networks (35%)


According to the results of other research by Rosbizneskonzalting, last years a up to 80% of all potential patients. Look for the clinic through Internet. And Russians bring their decision according to the review of other patients on Russian language.


In that sense, there is not better instrument for advertising medical services from social networks. According to researches of our agencies, on Russian social networks Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte, on specialized forums and portals, on Google and Yandex by the advertisements is currently presented around 350 health institutions from 35 world countries (including Spa and Welness hotels). Only two of them are from Croatia. The conclusions are to be made by themselves.


If you are interested in business,medical tourism or summer holiday in Croatia – we can recommend  Atlantis Holidays. Our agency in Moscow will give top service to every client, help in finding and reserving accommodation,cheap airline ticket, quickly and siply issue vsa for Croatia, and offer all needed support.

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