Optimum Solutions pioneers, by coordinating the services provided by health units and travel agencies, in order to offer packages of medical tourism services that will meet the specific requirements of medical tourists in our country.
Our highly-trained staff and our unique partnerships with certified suppliers that can guarantee the best possible outcome for each individual incident as well as groups of medical or wellness tourists, makes us the most ideal partner for stakeholders interested in committing themselves to the promising new market of Medical Tourism and Health/Wellness Tourism.
Over the past 50 years, the tourism industry has been one of the most significant parameters of the European economy, and according to the World Tourism Organization, will remain so in the coming years.
Medical Tourism, which can develop rapidly in the international market, has huge growth potential, but is highly competitive, because many countries have developed high-level integrated services and programs. Our country has all the comparative advantages, both in the health service sector and in the hotel-tourism sector to play a leading role, satisfying thus in the best possible way the expectations of a highly diversified and demanding tourist audience.
Research conducted by McKinsey in 2011, places Medical Tourism among the 8 developmental drivers of the Greek economy for the coming decade, confirming essentially the view held by significant forces in the private health sector and the tourism industry that attempt with small yet crucial steps to place Greece on the map of this new market.
A study by Mr. John Tountas, -Professor of Medicine at the University of Athens, – presented in an event organized by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, led to the assessment that Greece in a decade may draw on medical tourism the amount of 2 billion Euros with the arrival of 400,000 patients, mainly from the EU, Russia, SE Europe, Middle East, the USA and China. The direct economic advantages for the country will be particularly significant, as will be the indirect ones with the creation of new jobs, the diversification of the tourism product and the extension of the tourist season not to mention the utilization of infrastructure and human resources in the private health sector.
MEDICAL TOURISM PRODUCTS
The term “medical tourism” denotes two categories of services:
- Managing the medical needs of visitors who are in a foreign country either on holiday or on a business trip, or for temporary installation. It includes emergency health events (e.g. heart attack) or regular health care for chronic diseases (e.g. kidney failure dialysis).
- Elective medical tourismwhere the patient chooses to travel in order to receive a specific medical service, motivated by factors such as: the cost of service, the quality of service and the overall health care system, the waiting time in the home country for the provision of such service, the opportunity to combine medical care with entertainment and travel.
Apart from medical tourism as defined herein, and as meant by specialized international bodies, services such as spas, thermal springs, fitness centers, which are part of the wider term “health tourism” or “wellness” are also available to visitors.
THE ECOSYSTEM OF MEDICAL TOURISM SERVICES
Medical Tourism is a complex set of services which involve:
- Health providers (hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, doctors, nurses)
- Hospitality and transportation service providers (hotels, airlines, ground movement)
- Health insurance organizations (private companies, social security institutions)
- Certification bodies for medical tourism services.
- Medical Tourism facilitators
The role of the latter is pivotal. Facilitators are not only marketing organizations but act as quality assessors; they create packages (medical and travel services), and organize medical advice and assessment of the patient’s needs before the trip and medical follow-up after treatment. They have a central role in the ecosystem.
In the context of developing the medical tourism product, the International Training program of Temos – Vocational Qualification and Certification for Special Intermediaries – Medical Tourism Coordinators – is offered in Greece.
The integrated and undivided training of eligible professionals for this new specialization is an important factor in the formation and development of the medical tourism market. The training program is designed so that it leads to international as well as widespread recognition of qualifications in two levels of professional certification:
Level 1: Medical Tourism Assistant Coordinator
Level 2: Medical Tourism Executive Coordinator
in accordance with the educational background and the specialized professional experience of learners.
Implementing Body: Training Centre for professionals NEA GNOSI
With the support of GOLDAIR TOURISM
Under the auspices and approval of the Greek Medical Tourism Council.