Poland Profits from Medical Tourism
Even though the reputation of general Polish health services is continually deteriorating domestically, where falling ill for a Pole or a foreigner can be a nightmare experience, specialist medical services such as plastic surgery are booming in Poland.
Thousands of foreigners, mainly from Western Europe, are coming to Poland to get a body makeover.
Driving the flow of interest is relatively low costs for procedures, on demand service and ease of access from across Europe.
Poland is one of a number of countries which is enjoying the global trend in medical tourism.
In recent years, a growing number of patients seeking cosmetic surgery have ventured abroad to take advantage of low cost medical services. Popular destinations include Thailand, India, and some areas of Central Europe.
The Institute of Tourism in Poland estimates that the number of foreigners coming to Poland for operations amounts to 250,000 people per year, which is about 1.5 percent of all tourists coming to Poland.
Only last year medical tourism attracted around $65 mln to the Polish economy, which with more effective promotion could increase many fold.
Most often, the medical packages at private clinics include round-trip airfare plus a brief vacation package, or it is accompanied by private post-operative care.
Procedures in demand include reconstructive surgery for disfigurement correction, along with elective surgery procedures such as liposuction, buttocks and abdomen sculpting, and breast augmentation.
Prices in Poland are half to one third of those in the UK or Germany, with a breast enlargement costing 6,250 euro in the UK or 5,200 euro in Germany going for 2,250 euro in Poland.
Similarly, liposuction worth 4,850 euro in the UK or 3000 euro in Germany, costs 1,000 euro in Poland. A nose correction costing 5,000 euro in the UK comes in at about 1,300 euro in Poland.
Poland also provides dentistry services, popular also for its low costs and high quality modern technology and services.
Doctors say client demand is continuing to grow along with income prospects from the ever expanding medical services market.