The Competitive Advantage of Greece in Medical Tourism

The competitive advantage of Greece in global health care provision is without doubt her Medical Doctors and Doctors of Dental Surgery.

Greece has the highest ratio of MDs per inhabitant among the OECD countries (6.1 per thousand inhabitants). At the same time, high level of expertise is obtained both in national and international medical and dental schools, with numerous medical specialists gaining international distinction for their research and clinical outcomes. For example, the Medical School of the University of Crete is home to Dr. Ioannis Pallikaris, the ophthalmologist who performed the LASIK technique for the first time on a human eye and subsequently developed the Epi-LASIK. Now a country that couples visit extensively for fertility treatment, Greece is home to the scientist and doctor Georgios Papanikolaou, the inventor of the Pap test. Excellence in medical care in Greece is achieved through continuous retraining and knowledge diffusion that is supported by strong ties with the international medical community. Thousands of medical doctors and dentists in Greece have gained specialisation and working experience in the US, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, and elsewhere. At the moment numerous Greek MDs are members of leading research teams accounting for significant medical breakthroughs.

MDs in Greece form the backbone of health care provision with thousands of small and medium private practices giving life to the health care provision nationwide. They work close to modern private hospitals and clinics accredited by international bodies. State-of-the-art medical devices, modern facilities, high standards equipment along with an excessive capacity may welcome foreign patients without disruptions for the local community.

When it comes to international patients cultural and language skills should not go amiss; medics and other health professionals in Greece speak fluently not only English, but often German and French, which to a great extent is accounted for by their training, practice and close ties to foreign countries. At the same time, the mild climate of Greece along with the excellent Mediterranean diet comprises an excellent surrounding environment for the patient and her company. Supportive facilities for rehabilitation and wellness during the therapy and recovery period are easily accessible. Moreover, for visitors undergoing minor interventions such as cosmetic dental procedures and other forms of outpatient care, Greece offers an opportunity for plenty of activities. Cultural stimulation, entertainment, and excursions in a beautiful natural environment, close to the mountain or the sea and under the healing touch of a bright sun are offered all through the year by the well-developed tourism sector.

Lila Skountridaki BSc MSc PhD, University of Strathclyde, UK

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