Representatives of the government, members of the scientific and business community of Greece and the US, members of the Diaspora, as well as representatives of tourism companies and health sector attended the conference which presented the possibilities of our country in medical tourism and the efforts made in this direction. The speakers stressed the need for cooperation and coordination between stakeholders, towards a national strategy for health tourism, which can be a pole of development with multiple benefits for Greece.
During his address, Alternate Foreign Minister Nikos Xidakis stressed the need for Greece moving forward and exploiting the opportunities. As he said, Greece can offer quality services in the health sector, as it has a high level of scientific staff and modern facilities. He spoke of "exploiting the huge American market with the contribution of 6,000 Greek doctors who work in hospitals and universities in the US."
According to data presented by the speakers, the worldwide turnover of medical tourism surpasses 20-30 billion dollars on an annual basis. Costs related to medical services are estimated at 15-20 billion dollars.
On his part, the president of the Athens Medical Association and the Medical Tourism sector of the Institute for Scientific Research of the Panhellenic Medical Association George Patoulis referred to the national action plan for the development of health tourism in our country. "We will start a series of actions and international contacts to promote health tourism in our country," he said.
Patoulis underlined that the ministries should develop strategies to promote Greece as a global medical tourist destination. The aim is to open new jobs, to promote the major Greek cities as City Break destinations, to attract patients of high income and boost investments in medical tourism.
"Our goal is to promote the Greek medical tourism and show that Greece can cope with it", Vasilis Apostolopoulos, CEO of the Athens Medical Centre, said. "Medical Tourism is a large industry and has rapidly developed at an international level. Greece can play an important role to that and acquire the market share it deserves," Apostolopoulos added.