At the initiative of a people’s deputy of Ukraine, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Health, Iryna Sysoyenko, a round table discussion on “Medical Tourism in Ukraine: Problems and Prospects” took place in the parliament.
This is the second event dedicated to the development of health tourism in our country. During the first one the issues of treatment of Ukrainian citizens abroad were discussed.
The round table was attended by representatives of the Ukrainian medical institutions, doctors, public figures, as well as foreign visitors, diplomats. Among them, the Honorary Consul of Italy in Ukraine, Marco Toson, who noted the need to develop the medical tourism industry in Ukraine and expressed his country’s readiness to provide full support in this matter.
“The role of Ukraine’s image is extremely important, and we have much to be proud of, but we are not used to talking about it! Development of medical tourism in Ukraine will become an important source of revenue to the state budget and a chance for the development of hospitals. But, unfortunately, this trend has not yet found full support of the authorities,” said MP Iryna Sysoyenko.
“Ukraine has a lot to be proud of and much to offer to foreign patients in the sphere of medical services. However, domestic clinics, even the most successful ones, lack state support and sound public policy. In particular, when it comes to the promotion of experience and achievements of Ukrainian doctors in providing certain medical services on the international level. It is therefore very important to solve the issues of information promotion of the medical tourism services, the issue of protection of foreign patients. Especially because the legislation has already been prepared,” said Iryna Sysoyenko.
The MP has noted that these are not only the foreign patients, but the Ukrainians themselves that are either not aware of those achievements, innovations and technologies that are now used by Ukrainian doctors. For example, at the Amosov National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery a technology of heart coronary-bypass surgery has been invented (the mortality rate is only 0.5%, compared to the US – 1.3%). Nearly 10 thousand operations has been performed using the technology. A similar technology is used only in 5 clinics throughout the world. In addition, the experts of the institute have the unique experience of surgery of cardiac rhythm disorders (including newborns), cardiac tumors, obstetric, urgent and fetal (surgery on the fetus in the womb) cardiac surgery. No less significant and unique achievements are demonstrated by domestic experts in reproductive medicine, ophthalmology, oncology, dentistry, plastic surgery, cosmetology and the like.
Iryna Sysoyenko has also noted that foreign patients can now receive quality medical services predominantly in the private sector of medicine. For the majority of Ukrainian citizens medical services of private clinics are not affordable at present, and the level of service of public hospitals is very low. We need to work on this in order to improve the situation.
“Critically important is the health care reform and the improvement of legislation of Ukraine, which would stimulate the development of medicine, the creation of high-quality services and improve the environment in accordance with the international standards,” said the deputy chairman of the Health Committee.
About 200 thousand Ukrainians in recent years have been forced to travel to foreign clinics for treatment. Every year about 50 thousand foreign patients visit our hospitals for medical services. Citizens of European countries, the US, Belarus and Israel spend about $ 125 million on treatment in Ukraine. At the same time, Ukrainians spend up to 1 billion euros in foreign clinics. Development of medical tourism will allow to promote the development of health services in our country and to fill the country’s budget.
Iryna Sysoyenko thanked all the participants and expressed the hope that the round table will provide a solid foundation for further work and joint efforts of the authorities, the medical community, business and society for the development of medical tourism in the country.