Medical Tourism in Greece: What are the Advantages?
What are the advantages of travelling to Greece for medical treatment? Dr Athanasios Christopoulos, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Aesthetic Anaplasis in Athens addresses all the key points.
With communication between people becoming easier and faster, the world seems to be shrinking. Nowadays, people travel a great deal, and many live and work in different parts of the world during the course of their lives. To cater to these growing needs, the service sector, including medical services, has become global. Greece constitutes one of the top destinations for what is called “medical tourism”, in other words for providing health services to people who don’t reside in Greece.
Tourism in Greece
The expression “medical tourism” contains two words: “medical” and “tourism”. In Greece, both of these services are provided at a very high level. Greece is well known for being one of the world’s foremost tourist destinations. It is an exceptionally beautiful country with pristine waters and beaches, top-class hotel infrastructure, and world-famous archaeological sites that draw a lot of visitors. Add to these Greece’s incredible climate, the welcoming and friendly nature of its people, and its safety. Let’s not forget that Greece is a part of Europe and, therefore, is governed under the laws of the European Union.
Medicine in Greece
When it comes to the medical sector Greece is perhaps not as well known as it is for tourism. However, it is internationally recognised as a country with a high standard of medical care. Ever since Antiquity and the time of Hippocrates, medicine has always been a top priority for its people.
There are many reasons why the standard of medicine in Greece is so good, and it is no wonder that this country has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and among the lowest rates of childhood deaths.
High standards of medical care
Here are the reasons why Greece has attained such a high standard of medical care:
- Greeks always considered health an issue of particular importance. It was historically a top priority and they spent a good deal of money to preserve it.
- A large percentage of Greek doctors have worked abroad, in a variety of countries, and have acquired international experience, which they have brought back to their own country.
- In Greece, the medical sector is highly competitive. As a result, more and more is being invested in medical knowledge, machines, and hospital buildings and infrastructure.
- The standard of private Greek hospitals is high, firstly because of the hig level of competitiveness, and secondly because Greece is a tourist destination and international insurance companies expect Greek hospitals to comply with the international standards in order to be able to hospitalise their clients.
For all the above reasons, Greece now finds itself among the top medical tourism destinations in the world. It is no surprise that countless people from all over come to Greece to receive medical treatment. In addition, Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East, which allows for easy access. This, in combination with the relatively low cost of medical services in Greece, has led an ever-increasing number of non-Greeks to seek hospitalisation here. It is no surprise that there are private hospitals whose patients are mostly non-Greeks and that the rate of repeat patients, in other words, the number of non-Greeks who received medical treatment in Greece on multiple occasions, is extremely high.