Serbian government sets up medical tourism cluster

 

A Belgrade based Serbian Medical Tourism Cluster has been set up to involve all interested state and private organisations involved in providing medical and tourist services – spas, hospitals, clinics, institutes, hotels, tourist agencies, restaurants, and others who provide services connected to medical and wellness treatment. It currently has 19 members. The aim is to enhance the marketing position of the Republic of Serbia as a medical tourism destination and to offer highly professional services to all that are seeking medical treatment abroad. The 300 natural springs, 40 health resorts and 25 rehabilitation centres illustrates the tremendous potential in Serbia.

Cluster activities:

  • To improve and develop the medical tourism offer of Serbia.
  • To promote the harmonization with the EU standards in building up and developing institutions and legislature in the medical tourism field, and to analyze and plan medical tourism development in Serbia.
  • Preparation of brochures, guides, and online databases with medical tourism offers of the Republic of Serbia.
  • Organization of medical tourism conferences.
  • To promote domestic medical tourism at specialized fairs and conferences, to participate in international medical tourism associations.

Clusters represent geographic concentration of interconnected companies, related and different industries, specialized suppliers, service providers and associated supporting institutions (educational and scientific research institutions, agencies, etc.), competing, but also cooperating in a specific field. Clusters are established on the basis of common interest and needs in the sphere of procurement, sales, sectoral specialization, labour etc.

Dr. Marina Majkić from the Serbian Medical Tourism Cluster comments, “We have defined two fundamental problems. On the one hand is the infrastructure, which does not meet the desired criteria in some areas, and on the other, representatives of the medical profession and tourism industry will have to work together more closely."

The Ministry of Economy and Regional Development supports this and twenty other Serbian clusters. Cluster development promotion and institutional support within the regional, industrial and innovation policies, are part of the Lisbon Strategy objectives aimed at making the European Union the most dynamic and competitive economy in the world by 2010.

Zorica Maric of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development comments, "The Serbian Medical Tourism Cluster is a completely private sector initiative which we helped fund in 2008."

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