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Greece Still Needs Actions to Achieve Medical Tourism Growth

Greek experts, academics and authorities explored ways to tap into the growing health tourism market during the “Development Strategies and Health Tourism in Greece” event, which was held within the framework of the 4th International Tourism Fair – Greek Tourism Expo last week.

A step in the right direction is the launch of, said Secretary General of the International Health Tourism Center (IHTC), Petros Mamalakis, underlining that medical tourism is among the eight basic drivers of the Greek economy.

Issues covered last week included development strategies, synergies, and innovation which speakers said are key to establishing Greece as a medical tourism destination. According to experts, Greece still has a long way to go, claiming only 3 percent of the market compared to neighboring Turkey which accounts for 13 percent.

Addressing the Greek Tourism Expo event, Keith Pollard, managing editor of the International Medical Travel Journal, spoke of a complex and constantly changing market, stressing that constant efforts are needed to achieve positive results as well as consistency, synergies and state support.

International Health Tourism Center president George Patoulis.

IHTC president George Patoulis presented the advantages Greece has over other destinations including infrastructure, high-level scientific staff, affordable prices, fine climate, while expressing his optimism that by 2020 Greece will have reached a target of 5 percent which will in turn contribute to establishing medical tourism into a key driver of the economy.

In this direction, Mamalakis, referred to the role can play. The online platform provides easy and fast access to high-quality services at a much lower cost without waiting lists; where patients can plan treatment at certified Greek hospitals with the care of the best doctors, while at the same time allowing to take care of the details of their trip to Greece.

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