50,000 visit Belarus for low cost treatments


The article says Belarus is aiming to become a major medical tourism destination, according to news from the Belarus-China forum in Shanghai earlier this month. Over the past ten years, the country’s private medical centres have won recognition in the post-Soviet space. Marina Mastashova of Belarus’ Sports and Tourism Ministry says medical tourism in Belarus will benefit further from the new visa-free travel program.

It claims that 'Last year more than 50,000 medical tourists visited Belarus’s private healthcare centers for the relatively low cost of medical procedures Eastern Europe is noted for. Topping the list of specialists sought by health tourism visitors were the dental and cosmetic surgery specialties'. No source of this data was given.

The article identifies several big players who have emerged on the Belarusian medical market, including MedTravelBelarus, Wellness Travel, and Westglamur. MedTravelBelarus conclude agreements with private clinics and health-care centres to treat foreign clients. They also provide visa support, lodging, and other services for a comfortable stay.

Many patients coming to Belarus are from other post-Soviet countries, and especially Russia, even though costs in that country are comparable. Medical experts in the country say Russians prefer Belarus become of the higher quality of care. Tourists from Ukraine and Kazakhstan are another important group of clients for Belarusian clinics. The ongoing problems in the Ukrainian and Kazakh healthcare systems, including corruption and poor pharmaceuticals, continue to bring Ukrainians and Kazakhs to Belarusian doctors.

There are no officially published statistics for inbound medical tourists to Belarus. Last year, IMTJ published a claim by the Health Minister putting the inbound number as significantly higher at 50,000 (see the Belarus IMTJ Country Profile).



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