Medical Tourism in Poland time for new impulse?

Medical tourism will open a new chapter? Will we be able to avoid errors from other tourist areas?

Yesterday we had the opportunity to participate in an interesting discussion on medical tourism organized by the AWF Law Faculty from Kraków and the Institute for Research on the Development of Medical Tourism. This is another promising factor after the occurrence of Mrs. Anna Wolf presentation during ITB fair, which seems to bring a bit of optimism in this area.

Large potential of medical tourism but still uncoordinated actions

The presentation of Mrs. Anna Białk Wolf and Mr. Mariusz Arent focused on the most important aspects related to medical tourism. Starting from definitions, measurable results as well as opportunities and threats for this area.

Several clear conclusions show from the presentation. First of all, there is no strategy in Poland and a concretised idea for a comprehensive approach to this topic. Everyone “wants” because the subject seems “sexy” but the lack of effective solutions.

In this context, examples of countries and regions were very building in this context that were able to overcome similar to Polish problems. Apart from China which builds a medical city or Dubai with a whole dedicated medical project district, it is worth imitating players with a similar weight category to Poland.

Here, examples of Malaysia and Spain were very valuable. In the case of an Asian country, the system of certified market participants with a different involvement category is worth imitation. It gives guarantees of reliability as well as comprehensive/repeatable service throughout the process of taking care of a medical tourist.

A slightly simpler is an example of Spain with her national portal dedicated to medical tourism. This is also a concept that is relatively easily copied to enter a higher than the level of medical tourism management.

Poland can gain – dissemination of robotics, road and air infrastructure are conducive to

Although the market seems great competitive, there are a good chance for Poland. First of all, it may be the dissemination of robotics-based services. The expansion of the da Vinci platform accelerates, we arrive for a few robots annually. And this is not the only platform that will grow in Poland.

Interestingly, private clinics are responsible for the large part of the implementation of medical robots. It may depend on the foreign client in a special way. And they can give any impulse to joint action in this field.

Undoubtedly, the infrastructure, improving roads and a network of air connections, also conduct that to Poland much easier, faster and cheaper is to get. These are significant advantages supporting medical tourism promotions.

During the presentation, Kraków’s advantages were emphasized as a recognizable place and additionally offering a rich tourist content. It is not a coincidence that’s in the vicinity of Krakow, we have a developed private network, technologically advanced medical clinics. Just to mention the Neo Hospital group and its Cracow hospital or specialized in orthopedics on the world level Carolina Medical.

Medical tourism can not repeat errors of other areas

It is worth emphasizing, that speakers did not escape from difficult topics. It seems that in the category of challenges for the first place they come out of the competition and the lack of conviction about synergies flowing from joint action. In short, the scenario in which private clinics will work on their own.

Undoubtedly, this is a threat which has already processed other areas of tourism. Polish arrival operators rarely combined forces to promote themselves together. Also the allocation of aid funds by POT was often not a very transparent. At all costs of this type of experience should be avoided.

The second risk is related to the legal area. Therefore, the involvement of the AWF law cathedral in the subject of the presentation is more valuable. The medical and tourist area seem to have two different specifics and slightly other legal regulations. Although it seems that Clue services, however, medical sphere. And tourism per se is an additional product that can be “drilled” additionally.  It does not seem to be necessary here the requirement to bind these services in one formal package.

Will Senior care homes become an opportunity for (little) tourist regions

During the discussion, a fairly interesting topic associated with Senior care houses was also stressed. On the example of Hungary or Spain, a large potential for Poland can be presumed here.

Particularly less tourist regions as Lublin and Podlasie can find their niche. An interesting option would be to use the infrastructure of holiday centers that could significantly extend the season by opting for all-year activities.

Engaging in support for foreign seniors is also a chance for education of staff, both medical and linguistic. On the eastern wall there is also a significant value of ​​job creation in rural areas.

Although the Polish Eastern Wall is not a tourist Mecca, however, it has a lot of advantages primarily wild nature. Work on the promotion of “forest baths” or similar products based on the severity of nature will strengthen this items.

A revolution on the labor market and relocation is also a chance for medical tourism

Quite an interesting area that was not moved on yesterday’s presentation is the following revolution on the labor market. Long-Stay / relocation offers for digital nomads will become commonplace.

It seems that Poland also has something to win here, foreigners arriving in Poland could use this time to rebuild health or use the services that are significantly more expensive at their place of origin.

Here again, the Polish climate will be a challenge and the lack of positioning of our country as a place for temporary settlement. Certainly, however, you can find countries / people who will appreciate the above-mentioned “nature” of the Eastern Wall, including access to a variety of tourism forms. Is the proximity of more exotic neighbors to which a quick break (Ukraine / Lviv) can be organized.

How to avoid internal war POT should help, airlines can also bring additional value

The above-mentioned challenge related to the lack of trust and operation on its own stakeholder is probably the key from which you should go out.

There may be a role of POT here, he is  obliged to generate larger streams of tourists and also outside the holiday season. Medical tourist writes out perfectly on this profile.

Pot can also help through your foreign centers to generate and promote the service base that will be available and reserved in countries generating medical tourists.

In addition to the strictly medical product, we also have a chance to hear this tourist. A medical tourist must also have knowledge about him. And this can also concern people traveling with him or visitors at a later date (care homes).

Airlines can also help. LOT could prepare a special offer taking into account the needs of such a tourist. A more liberal policy of changing return or even an open ticket for a return, a special offer for traveling with a medical client so-called Companion could give an additional impulse in the product promotion as a whole.

Summary – If we do nothing at the central level, regions will take matter to your hands?

Certainly in front of medical tourism in Poland many challenges. It’s good that the next chapter of discussion about her future opens, hopefully managed to simply define a framework for cooperation at the national level. Otherwise, there are many indications that there may be regional activities that will later be difficult to press into other tracks.

Kraków and Małopolska have many strong cards in hand here, and with a high definition can be assumed that this region may be the first to comprehensively try to embrace this subject. Certainly, however, it will be difficult without supporting from the public sector.

Let’s hope that POT will decide to support the Polish medical tourism even as part of the funds that will receive for a post-Covid industry reconstruction plan.