Export of healthcare sevices creates new jobs for the country, offers doctors who have left their native country an incentive to come back, and encourages young people to become a doctor.
There are basically four different ways for exporting healthcare services which differ from each other based on what or who moves across state borders. What can move: the patient (medical tourism), the model offering the service (direct investment into a foreign country), information and knowledge (telemedicine), doctor or another health professional (temporary migration).
The report says that from the four aforementioned export options the most possible in the near future and also the most sensible is to develop medical tourism.
The report also highlights that in Estonia the content of the healthcare services is good, but what is lacking is the attractive presentation of the service and selling it to foreigners.
Medical tourism is boosted by the search for better service quality, cheaper prices and shorter queues, both on the individual level and the level of the national healthcare system (the insurers).
- Estonia’s general healthcare system creates a good base for the export of medical tourism.
- Estonia’s strengths include a considerable turnover of foreign tourists, existing modern technology and a also a slight price advantage in healthcare.
- Fields with the most potential for fast implementation are diagnostics, dental care, health spas, plastic surgery and orthopaedics.
- Most promising markets for Estonian healthcare export lie in a 2,5 hour flight radius.