Come to Poland for medical treatment
Polish medical tourism ended up in the group of fifteen sectors displaying the most promising potential. The Ministry of Economics decided to support its development financially within the framework of the project: "Promoting Polish economy on international markets". Considering statistics, it is not difficult to understand this decision: in 2011 approximately 320.000 foreign patients were treated at the Polish clinics. The data has been provided by the Polish Medical Tourism Association (PTSM).
After the collapse caused by the economic crisis the number of patients dropped by 24% and in 2010 it came up to 250.000. However, only a year later, the PTSM calculated that approximately 270.000 to 300.000 foreign patients came to Poland and spend circa 800 million zlotys. These are careful estimates - European sources quote that in 2011 approximately 320 thousand foreign patients were treated in Poland.
Why medical tourists come to Poland?
Poland is in the lead of European countries most visited by foreign patients. The main reason for its position are the affordable prices, much lower in comparison with the British Isles. Polish clinics offer procedures approximately 50% cheaper or even 80% cheaper than British facilities. It is easy to check, comparing the costs of by-pass, implants or breast augmentation procedures. According to the Medical Tourism Association, the cost of a by-pass surgery in the USA is about 145 thousand dollars, whilst in Poland it comes up to a mere 14 thousand dollars (over 90% less). On the British Isles, the placement of dental implants is close to 4.2 thousand pounds, while in Poland we will only need to spend $ 780 (source: polandmedicaltourism.com)) According to AllMedicalTourism, Poland is perhaps the most affordable medical tourism destination for the British - they save more than in Hungary, where dental implants treatments are cheaper by about 79 %. There is also a wide range of prices in breast augmentation procedures. In the USA, you need to pay USD10K for a procedure, and in Poland it is just USD3.3K, more than 60% cheaper.
as you can see, you can save a lot of money by selecting a treatment at a Polish specialist's. The foreign guests are also attracted by the excellent quality of procedures offered by Polish clinics. It is especially tempting for the wealthy guests from the East, including Russians and Ukrainians, who cannot really count on an equally high standard medical treatments in their own countries. The quality difference is also visible on the example of dental treatment - British patients do not only complain about high costs of services in their home country, but also the tendency of British dentists to rather extract than treat an infected tooth. Polish dentists, on the other hand try to save a tooth by any means possible. Should all the other procedures fail, extraction is the last resort. The professional approach of our specialists (and not only dentists) is another advantage of undergoing treatment in Poland. Implantologists, plastic and vein surgeons, cardiologists, opthalmologists and other medical specialists constitute a team boasting excellent education and skills. More and more often our doctors graduate from prestigious foreign universities and complete their internships at the best international clinics. They implement innovative methods of treatment as well as technologically advanced medical apparatus for the procedures performed. The same equipment may be found in reputable British clinics.
Still, these are not all the reasons why foreigners are interested in Poland. Another important element is a short waiting time for the procedure, no queues and comprehensive assistance on the part of the staff, who often help the patients in arranging their stay - including purchasing airfare, ride from the airport and hotel booking. The multiple advantages of treatment in Poland are concluded with the convenient flight access. The Medical For You service informs that more and more airlines see the potential of medical tourism and they prepare great airfare deals for the migrating patients.
The most popular medical treatments in Poland
According to the data presented by Healthpoland.pl, the majority of the foreign patients come from the British Isles, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Belgium, in other words from countries, where the costs of treatments are considerably higher than in Poland. They arrive in Poland to undergo dental treatments (including the placement of implants, veneers or laser teeth bleaching), aesthetic medicine procedures and they are also interested in opthalmology, laryngology and orthopaedics. Poland is also eagerly visited by the Russians, who grew fond of taking wellness breaks at Polish health resorts, spas and wellness centres - especially in the administrative region of Pomorze (by the seaside). According to Dziennik Bałtycki (a Polish daily), the procedures in rehabilitation, orthopaedics and ophthalmology are becoming increasingly popular among the residents of the Kaliningrad Oblast (region). The above mentioned medicine branches seem attractive to Americans, too, who are also interested in plastic surgery as well as bariatrics. Ukrainians, on the other hand, come to Poland to undergo complex nephrological surgeries.
Going to Poland for treatment - the benefits for the patients, clinics and hotels
On of the most profitable aspects of medical tourism development is the implementation of the most technologically advanced treatment methods as well as apparatus into the offer of the Polish medical clinics. As a result the quality of the offered services improves - the procedures are more efficient, faster and safer as well as less invasive, and the recuperation time is thus minimized. Modernization of the clinics is a necessary step to attract the attention of the foreign patients. They can go to any medical centre, but will select the one offering the highest quality of services. It is especially valid in the case of American citizens, who, according to Arthur Gosj, the chairman of the Medical Tourism Chamber of Commerce - expect Polish facilities to present American certificates.
Another sector directly benefiting from the increase of foreign medical tourists is the tourism itself. The visitors from other countries like to combine treatment with holiday rest, sightseeing and entertainment. Hotels and restaurants record higher turnovers and the leisure centres such as spas and wellness keep on thriving. The facilities make all the efforts to make the guests' stay as attractive as possible by continously raising the bar in their services. This is especially important for the Russians, who, according to Oksana Polishko from the Terra Incognita company in Smolensk, expect luxurious conditions, interesting field trips and a wide range of spa treatments. The staff of the facilities is also intensely working on developing their knowledge and skills. Doctors as well as hotels' employees can fluently communicate in foreign languages thus removing the most disruptive obstacle feared by visitors from other countries.
Medical tourism and the promotion of Polish medical facilities abroad
According to the data provided by the Medical Tourism Chamber of Commerce, Poland is visited by an average of 300 thousand tourists annually. However, this number may in the future be growing by 10 to 15% a year. This sector' s huge potential was observed by the Ministry of Economy, which devoted 4 million zlotys from the EU funds to the promotion of medical tourism program. It is the first government project co-funded by the European Union, whose goal is to promote the Polish medical market, Its implementation has been spread over the years 2012-2015 and the following consortium will be responsible for its promotion: The European Centre for Enterprise (EuCP), AMEDS medical Center, Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ). The work of the consortium will focus on promotion of products, services as well as particular medical tourism companies and advertising of the Polish medical market. The project's objective is to interest patients from Germany and Great Britain as well as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the USA in the Polish medical services.