November 21, 2023

Proposals by the Athens Medical Association (AMA) for the Development of Health Tourism as Submitted by the Relevant Committee

Patoulis: “A comprehensive strategy is essential for the development of Medical Tourism in Greece.”

The Hellenic Medical Association’s proposals for the advancement of health tourism were discussed at the conference titled “The Role of Tourism in the Future of Greece.” This event took place on November 16, 2023, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, attended by government officials, experienced speakers, and distinguished professionals from the tourism sector.

The AMA’s Committee on Health Tourism is set to present detailed proposals to the relevant authorities for the development of medical tourism, featuring innovative and easily implementable ideas.

In particular, AMA President G. Patoulis emphasized the following: “For the growth of Medical Tourism in Greece, it is necessary to establish a comprehensive strategy. This direction, of course, requires support from the state. Through the development of medical tourism, Greece can and should become a global hub for health and wellness, attracting international patients. This will create new job opportunities in the healthcare sector and prevent the emigration of highly specialized scientific personnel.”

Specifically, the AMA’s proposals for the development of Medical Tourism in Greece, with state support, include:

  • Simplification of legislative frameworks and procedures.
  • Issuance of non-Schengen visas.
  • Enabling Primary Health Care operations within hotel units.
  • Activation of specific business codes and a Health Tourism Registry, allowing medical tourism providers to benefit from the Development Law.
  • Public-private sector collaboration with the creation of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).
  • Promotion and advertising of Greece as a medical tourism destination in collaboration with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) in target countries.
  • Development of a digital platform featuring a map of available medical tourism providers.
  • Promotion of private doctors interested in participating in the national registry of medical tourism service providers (individuals or sole proprietorships) on the GNTO website.
  • Participation in international medical tourism fairs to highlight Greece’s competitive advantages.
  • Organization of international medical tourism conferences in Greece.
  • Opportunities for certification of provided services and health structures with ESF co-funding.
  • Opportunities for co-funding to upgrade medical equipment in health structures.
  • Opportunities for co-funding for advertising abroad.
  • Opportunities for co-funding for discounts on airline tickets and hotels.
  • Collaboration with patient associations abroad to enhance Greece’s promotion.
  • Utilization of the Greek diaspora and Greek doctors abroad.
  • Collaboration between the Ministries of Health, Tourism, Development & Investments, and Digital Governance.

It is noted that the HMA’s Medical Tourism Committee is composed of coordinator Dr. Christoforos Tzermias, dermatologist and member of the ELITOUR Board, and Dr. Ioannis Lyra, plastic surgeon and former member of the Board of the Hellenic Health Tourism Association (ELITOUR).