Medical tourism: 2014/2015 global consumer market update
Being dependent on the export of energy resources, Russia’s economy is teetering on the verge of recession and the forecasts for its recovery are unnerving. In addition to punishing Western sanctions that have rained down on the major economic indicators, domestic economic policy often fails to support a raft of industries. Such turn of events had a particularly negative rebound effect on healthcare, in addition to a cut of 20 percent in 2014/2015 healthcare budget.
It is commonly known that medical industry is knowledge-intensive and budget-dependent. The lion’s share of medical equipment in Russian hospitals is foreign-made. That said, a whole range of medical devices fall under the category of dual-use goods owing to the Western sanctions. Hence, foreign-made medical equipment is to be replaced by domestically made one. However, neither medical practitioners nor patients know what Russian companies manufacture.
This is particularly so in cases of oncologic diseases. Oncology situation in the Russian Federation is complex. Olga Zheludkova, oncologist at the Russian Scientific Centre of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, shares her opinion on the prospects of technical re-equipment of the centre with domestically made devices: “Let’s say I can get on a Russian bicycle and even ride it. But I have not seen a domestically made CT scanner during 30 years of my practice”. As an aside, all equipment in the department of oncology is foreign-made.
Consequently, oncology in Russia is gradually moving towards collapse, while the number of cancer patients keeps increasing. Early diagnosis of cancer in Russia is out of the question. Therefore, Russian cancer patients are predominantly complex. That is why Russian patients look at the neighbouring countries where the cost of treatment is lowers as compared to Western clinics while hospitals’ technical infrastructure is maintained at a high level. At the same time those who have a reliable financial cushion actively seek treatment abroad. The latter, however, become a less common reality amid a growing economic crisis and incredibly pessimistic forecasts for the future. All these aspects as well as new trends in global healthcare will be discussed at the 4th Congress on Healthcare and Medical Tourism (GHMTC)to be held in three stages in Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan from 14 April to 20 April 2015.
The platform for direct negotiations and face-to-face sales – the 4th Medical and Health Tourism Mart (MHTM)– will be traditionally available as part of the Congress.
Kazakhstan: Almaty GHMTC&MHTM, , April 14-15th, 2015
Georgia Tbilisi: GHMTC&MHTM, April 17th, 2015
Azerbaijan: Baku GHMTC&MHTM, , April 20th, 2015
More information about high-profile events in the post-Soviet area is available at www.medyahoo.com/en/
Russia is gradually abandoning the market
The biggest news story of 2014 in the global travel and tourism industry was a drastic reduction in the patient outflow from Russia. The market contracted due to tough economic environment, imposition of sanctions against Russia, ban on travel abroad for certain categories of citizens and rise in the exchange rate. According to some reports, the patient outflow has already decreased by 30%, particularly to European countries – Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Poland and Spain. Twenty major Russian operators went bankrupt in the second half of 2014 due to contraction in consumer demand.
Medical tourism has always been the most economically stable segment of the market. However, stagnation of the Russian economy has taken its toll. The number of requests for treatment in Germany has reduced by - 26%, in Israel by - 13%, in Czech Republic by - 32%, in Hungary by - 29% etc. However, despite that the country’s healthcare sector is now reaching critical condition, Russians still seek medical services at home or in the neighbouring countries, such as Belarus, which saw a 5% increase in the number of treatment requests between August and December 2014. At that, such a situation is pertinent to all sections of the population, from economically vulnerable people to the well-off. The contributing factors here are devaluation of the ruble, rise in prices and drop in household income.
Projections do not look good as well. So, the country is exiting the market. The outlook is far from being encouraging. It is time to take a sober look at the reality and seek business retention and expansion opportunities/ Learn more here www.medyahoo.com
Lviv residents reach compromise over controversial demonstration
Many nationalist organizations succeeded in persuading the organizers Svoboda to hold a low-key event– without slogans and party flags.
The demonstration got much ink from the Russian media which called it beforehand a Sabbath of neo-Fascists.
The demonstrators walked silently from the monument to Stepan Bandera to the monument to the victims of Communist repression 400 meters away, by-passing the center of Lviv.Read more...
Police may continue taking down barricades in central Kyiv, says official
Dec. 11, 2013, 5:20 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
"If the enforcement service goes to the police and starts carrying out the court's ruling, the police will accordingly be involved," Deputy Interior Minister Viktor Ratushniak told reporters on Wednesday.
If the enforcement service does not request help from the police, the latter will stay out, he added.
Ratushniak also said that law enforcement authorities were investigating the alleged planting of bombs in Kyiv subway stations and other transport facilities in the capital city.
Ashton concerned about police attack on Batkivschyna office
Dec. 10, 2013, 10:22 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said she is concerned about the recent events in Ukraine and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to refrain from using force to resolve the crisis.
Ashton said this in a statement released in Brussels on the eve of her two-day visit to Ukraine, which begins on Tuesday.
"On the eve of my visit to Kyiv, I follow with concern the reports that police forces forcibly entered the office of the biggest opposition party, Batkivschyna. This comes on the afternoon of the same day that President [Viktor] Yanukovych proposed the establishment of a national roundtable, bringing together the leaders of all political forces and the three former presidents of Ukraine," reads the statement.
In this regard, Ashton said that "these latest events seriously risk to derail the process."
"I call on the Ukrainian authorities to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any further use of force, in order to give space for a negotiated solution out of the current political stalemate," she said.
As reported, the Batkivschyna Party announced that police together with Berkut officers were attacking their Kyiv office.
Ashton: Yanukovych reassured me that he is ready for dialogue
Dec. 11, 2013, 4:28 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
Brussels - European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has reassured her of his readiness to engage in dialog.
Ashton said this in a statement published on Wednesday.
"In the long discussion I have had with the president, he reassured me that he was prepared to engage in dialogue, and I urge him to do so. He also reiterated his wish to sign the Association Agreement. I discussed with him the urgent need to release those arrested, to ensure a prompt and fair investigation, and to bring those responsible for violence to justice," Ashton said in her statement.
"From talking to civil society representatives, the opposition and former Ukrainian presidents I conclude that last night's police action makes the launch of a political dialogue more difficult than before. In the next hours I will try to explore all possible ways to assure that a genuine peaceful solution is still in reach. It will require a high amount of political courage and determination," she said.
Ashton said that she was deeply concerned about Tuesday night's action taken by riot police.
"I have been very much impressed with the peaceful and courageous nature of the ongoing protests in support of European aspirations. I condemn the use of force and violence – which cannot be the answer to peaceful demonstrations - and I call for the utmost restraint," she said.