Growth of medical tourism to Finland is slow


Finland's new medical tourism is growing slowly, but is dependent on Russian business, and tourism from Russia to Finland has fallen by a quarter in recent months.

A pilot project at Kuopio University Hospital to market healthcare services to patients in Russia has seen more success than expected. The scheme has seen agents marketing the hospital’s services within Russia, in a bid to attract patients seeking treatment from across the eastern border.

Numbers are still very small, with only a dozen or so patients, who pay in advance, going there for surgery, including complex brain and heart operations that are quite expensive.

Maryna Artemenko from medical tourism agency Firumedan says,“ Patient feedback has so far been positive, and demand has outstripped expectations .Our operating model has been to meet customers’ needs quickly. Word has spread fast and we have attracted more patients."

Finland's revenue from medical tourism is limited by the Finns' lack of familiarity with Russian culture and language.

The hospital will continue to be open to overseas patients once the pilot ends. But in the longer term an international unit will be vital to hospital, to cope with growth in demand and the language problems.



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