The Eastern Economic Forum business programme hosted an expert discussion on the topic of developing medical tourism in the Far East. The ‘Medicine for Export: Opportunities on Asia-Pacific Markets’ session was a part of the ‘Our Shared Responsibility in a Changing World’ thematic block. The event was organized by the Roscongress Foundation’s Healthy Life project, with the Content Foundation for the Development of Expert and Analytical Activities serving as intellectual partner.
Event participants included Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Oleg Salagay, Deputy Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Galina Izotova, Vice Rector for Medical Affairs at the Medical Centre of the Far Eastern Federal University Oleg Pak, Head of the Central Healthcare Directorate at Russian Railways Elena Zhidkova among others. The session was moderated by Editor-in-Chief of Doctor Channel and Russia 24 Anchor Evelina Zakamskaya.
The modernization of healthcare that took place in 2020 may lend new momentum to the growth of medical tourism in Russia. The pandemic forced the healthcare system to mobilize resources and significantly increase accessibility, and that also affected those who come to Russia for treatment. A well-targeted policy aimed at promoting a customer-oriented approach to the provision of medical services and achieving international standards must be pursued in order to increase the investment attractiveness of the medical export market and to deepen the integration of the Russian Federation into the global market of medical services. A strategically advantageous proximity to countries of the Asia-Pacific region could benefit the Far Eastern Federal District in terms of the development of medical tourism, provided that it stimulates the transfer of modern medical technologies to Russia, an increase in the number of clinics, and the creation of high-quality, competitive medical infrastructure.
“The project for the development of medical service export has been quite successful federally. There are constituent entities that have not yet reached target indicators, but in general, the Accounts Chamber believes that we will fulfil our obligations by 2024; the healthcare system is in possession of all the necessary resources to do so. A patient-oriented healthcare model and the development of competition within the industry should serve as a foundation for the development of medical exports”, Deputy Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Galina Izotova said.
During the meeting, experts discussed whether medical tourism in Russia would be capable of driving economic development, how to increase the significance of the industry investment-wise and build up the volume of medical service export in Russia, what strategies could improve the quality of medical services in Russia in terms of the financial viability of the industry for tourists, and whether rehabilitation medicine and the increased demand for related services due to COVID-19 will drive the development of the medical tourism industry.