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Medical Tourism to be one of Croatia’s Leading Products

Croatia1112Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin and Health Minister Siniša Varga have today presented an action plan for the development of health tourism in Croatia. Health tourism potentially could become one of Croatia’s leading tourist products…

Health tourism, driven by the trend of aging populations in developed countries, and an increased focus on healthy living, is showing above-average growth rates in the global tourism market. Given the significant competitive advantages Croatia has, such as qualified personnel, a good reputation for proving health services, competitive prices, but also the proximity and accessibility to major markets and general tourist attractions, there is massive potential for the industry to grow in Croatia.

Recognising this potential, Croatia’s Tourism Development Strategy until 2020, and the National Health Development Strategy until 2020, both emphasize further development of all forms of health tourism and developing a platform to raise the competitiveness of health tourism in Croatia.

“Croatia is a part of one of the most developed regions of health tourism in Europe. Our wish by 2020 is that medical tourism in Croatia is internationally recognized mostly for the desirability of its diverse and high-quality spa offerings, but also for the significantly improved quality health tourism offerings, and for its ever-increasing global competitiveness, ” said Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin.

The Tourism Development and National Health Development strategies have identified three forms of medical tourism which will be focused on – Wellness tourism, health tourism and medical tourism.

Health tourism in Croatia today includes around 80 wellness centres, 15 specialised hospitals and a large number of private clinics spread across the country, although there is an obvious concentration in Kvarner, Istria, North Croatian counties and in the Zagreb area.

“The Ministry of Health recognises the important of health tourism. We are currently in the process of amending Health Care and Health Insurance laws. One of the most important bits of news is the introduction of the concept of health tourism in the new laws,” the Health Minister said, adding that 70 million euros in EU funds over the next few years will be used to renovate derelict spas in Croatia.

Proposed in the Action Plan is 30 development activities or programmes related to the improvement of the institutional framework, quality products, professional skills of employees and international recognition of medical tourism.

(photo: Lošinj – artmedias)

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