Wellness tourism: why wellness travel is the right thing after quarantine

The best travels at no extra cost.

So, dear friends, in the previous articles we have dealt with the concept of "medical tourism". I, as best I could, answered the questions "why" and, in part, "why."

Isn't it time to figure out where and how?

I have already mentioned that Russians (and Ukrainians) go mainly to Germany and Israel. So let's try to decide on these areas.

It is not for nothing that our medical tourists go to these countries. In both states, the level of treatment is very high. And not because some extraordinary doctors, more capable than ours, work there. But because the system of work is different.

First, everything is standardized to the smallest detail. At the same time, there are no trifles in providing assistance. This reduces the possibility of errors.

Secondly, respect for the patient, regardless of his character or whims, is one of the natural standards. Not only because the patient pays money (we have already analyzed the example from our health care that money cannot always provide attention and respect). It is simply necessary for a trusting relationship between doctor and patient; when there is trust, the result of diagnosis and treatment evaluation is better.

Many will say why go there: Abdulov was not saved, M. Kazakov was not cured ... And there are many such examples. But doctors, including those from these countries, are not gods; in the later stages of oncological diseases, one can only make the state of health easier and try to make the last months of life less painful, more worthy.

What they go for

They usually go for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, blood diseases, orthopedic pathology (including sports injuries), for heart and vascular surgery, for plastic surgery, psychiatric care (including including, for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction), urological diseases. For treatments such as bone marrow transplant, stem cells.

The quality of diagnosis and treatment in both countries is approximately equal, although the approaches are different in some cases. For example, cancer treatment in Israel is carried out according to American standards, in Germany - according to European ones. But this is not what is important for the patient, but the result.

Let's try to compare the advantages and disadvantages of seeking medical care from doctors in these countries.

Our expert is the general director of a medical tourism company, Natalya Talut.

In a May decree, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to come to grips with inbound medical tourism. The plans are to increase the volume of this market by at least four times compared to 2017 (bringing the export sales of our medical services to $ 1 billion a year!). Is it real?

What's in the way

Last year, more than 110 thousand foreigners visited Russia for medical purposes, which is more than 5 times more than in 2016. And this trend, according to experts, will continue. This is facilitated by a cheap ruble and a decent level of development and equipment of Russian medicine. But there are also constraining moments - often unimportant service, the presence of a language barrier and difficulties in obtaining a visa, and above all a difficult political situation. In the world, Russia is often treated with apprehension. For example, Leo Bokeria told how a boy from the United States was being prepared for heart surgery at their center. The day of the operation was already set, everything was agreed and everything was paid for, but on the appointed day the young patient did not appear at the clinic. It turned out that his parents received persistent recommendations and even threats from their homeland about not being treated in Russia.

The development of inbound tourism is hampered by the lack of information (and subsidized) support from the state. In order for the world to know that we have high-quality medicine and high-class doctors, our clinics and medical tourism companies should more actively participate in foreign exhibitions. But before, Russia was not represented at such events. Only last year our country took part in the corresponding exhibition at the Expocentre. And the interest in us was really excitement. The next such exhibition will take place this December. And, perhaps, the calculations of experts that promise the growth of the market for domestic medical services for export by 40-50% per year will be justified.

Who is where

Foreign tourists who come to Russia for treatment are interested in dentistry (half of them come to us for new teeth), gynecology and urology, as well as plastic surgery, ophthalmology, cardiology and orthopedics. And also reproductive technologies. Chinese, Europeans and Middle Easterners come to us for children "from a test tube". Also, foreigners often turn to our eminent doctors for a second opinion, if they have doubts about the diagnosis or treatment in their homeland.

Outbound tourism has declined in recent years. The reasons are still the same - economic. Expensive euro and dollar do not allow the majority of Russians to receive medical treatment in the USA, Switzerland, Germany and Israel. But other directions are emerging. For example, today India is at the top of medical tourism. Our patients praise the level of specialists there, service, lack of queues and, of course, prices. For example, coronary artery bypass surgery in India costs about 5-6 thousand dollars (in the USA it is 10 times more expensive), endoprosthetics of the hip joint - 7 thousand dollars (in America it is 7 times more expensive).

Recently, the demand for treatment in Spain has grown sharply. The quality of medical care and service in this country is not worse than in America and Germany, and prices are almost half as low. South Korea is making great strides, although it has only been in this market for 10 years. Russians from neighboring Siberia and the Far East are more likely to go to China, and residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region go to Finland.

Our country is big!

But if Russians are treated in the far abroad less often, then domestic medical tourism, on the contrary, flourishes year after year. Previously, our tourists went to Belarus to have their teeth treated, but now they often do it in their homeland: they go to Ryazan, Vladimir, Kovrov, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Tula. After all, the general level of medicine, and in particular dentistry, has grown almost everywhere, the materials are used the same, and the prices are much lower than in the capital.

The attractiveness of domestic medical tourism is not only in economy, because most Russian cities have a rich history, architecture and culture, so in addition to inexpensive treatment, you can at the same time enrich yourself spiritually.

By yourself or through an agency

Wellness tourism and seclusion are becoming the main trends in 2020, along with weekends close to home (this is called stepping), social distancing for travel, overnight stays at glamping and eco-hotels, and car travel.

Read how to organize a vacation for body and soul and recover from a long stay at home.

What is wellness tourism and why is it especially relevant now?

Wellness travel, or health tourism, is a type of recreation, the main purpose of which is to calm down, free your head, relieve stress and improve physical and mental health.

A yoga retreat, treatment in a sanatorium, a trip to the thermal waters or just a week in a hammock on a secluded island is what the doctor ordered to recover from the quarantine spring of 2020.

At the same time, it is not at all necessary to leave the distant lands. Renting a country house with loved ones or dropping off to the country with a couple of good thick books in your backpack is also a way to take care of yourself.

What kind of wellness travel will be after the coronavirus?

Maintaining social distance is a new rule of life, which, according to experts, will remain with us after the pandemic. Therefore, wherever you go on a wellness tour, you will hardly have to nudge with other tourists.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, travelers will be more likely to travel to secluded destinations and secret places that few people know about and where it is easier to relax at a safe distance from other people.

It is recommended to wear masks at airports, on board aircraft and in many public places. Read how to choose, wear and dispose of them correctly: it's easy, and the effectiveness of protection against coronavirus increases.

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