A bill for the development of medical tourism in Greece is currently being prepared by the Greek Ministries of Health and Tourism and will soon be released for public consultation, Health Minister Andreas Lykourentzos informed the Greek Parliament recently.
The bill will aim to establish an institutional framework for the development of the necessary infrastructure and provision of advanced services in the health tourism sector.
Mr. Lykourentzos noted that public and private sector collaboration was essential and clarified that in addition to the private sector, state hospitals could also be included in the planning once they were certified.
The health minister underlined that through public and private sector collaboration, health units could operate throughout the year in the country and provide high quality health services, given that Greece has highly qualified doctors and nursing staff.
According to the study “Development of Medical Tourism in Greece,” conducted by the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine on behalf of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, a realistic target for Greece in the medium term would be the annual arrival of 100,000 patients (medical tourists) that would each spend an average of 4,000 euros (3,000 euros for medical expenses and 1,000 euros for accommodation and other expenses) in the country.
Last year, the hotel chamber had suggested for six pilot programs (in Lasithi, Rhodes, Santorini, Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessaly) to be launched for the development and promotion of an integrated network of medical services for foreign visitors at a local level. The pilot programs would include travel packages and a marketing strategy.