Russian Railways to develop medical tourism in Far East
As part of the business programme of the Eastern Economic Forum now being held in Valdivostok, Elena Zhidkova, the Head of the Central Directorate of Healthcare at Russian Railways, spoke at the expert session "Medicine for Export: Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Markets."
The session was attended by Oleg Salagai, the Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, and leading Russian doctors.
Under discussion were the main steps which had to be taken in order to increase the investment attractiveness of the medical export market, as well as key strategies to improve the quality of medical services in the Far East.
Medical tourism is a new and increasingly popular travel destination as people go on holiday and vacation outside their region or country to focus on medical services and receive treatment.
This burgeoning industry unites two very important areas – medicine and economics – which results in synergies by lending a mutual impetus to development.
As a result, said Elena Zhidkova, Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, which is located in strategic proximity to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, has every opportunity to grow into a strong medical export market – all the more because the pandemic resulted in the mobilisation of medical care resources and significantly increased their availability, including for international tourists.
Russian Railways-Medicine is currently implementing one of the largest international projects in the healthcare sector in Khabarovsk.
The Russian-Japanese Centre for Preventive Medicine and Diagnostics is located at the private health foundation Clinical Hospital Russian Railways-Medicine. The Centre will open its doors to visitors in Spring 2022 and will be able to receive more than half a million people a year.
As Elena Zhidkova also noted, another important factor in promoting the export of medical services is information portals, whose purpose is to provide information on all the necessary medical tourism services. At the moment, the portals contain important and useful information for international tourists, but not in full and not in all the necessary languages. A clear positioning and the further development of such portals, as well as their competent marketing and information promotion, will help expand the industry’s outreach and spheres of influence.
"It is necessary to represent and present both Russia and our medical services and doctors on a single powerful platform," added Zhidkova.
The session’s participants also discussed issues around the expansion of medical services’ exports in Russia, improving the quality of tourist services and introducing the best innovative technologies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in the domestic industry. Other questions during the session included the potential for international cooperation, the coronavirus pandemic and cancerous diseases etc.