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Barcelona Is Actively Attracting International Patients

Barcelona Is Actively Attracting International Patients

Tuesday July 17, 2012

Barcelona appears to be far more active in attracting the international patients on the lookout for medical services that are seemingly unavailable in their home countries due to lack of affordability, lack of availability, and/or lengthy waiting lists. The article examines the news and highlights some of its fieldwork implications.

Nowadays, based on its well developed medical service offer, Catalonia is trying to introduce itself as a location of health tourist providers. With that in mind, this year the Catalan Agency of Tourism will be present in Los Angeles (EE.UU) at the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMT&GHC). Before then, Barcelona will be hosting in April 2011 the IV European Medical Travel Conference, which is expected to gather around 400 participants.

According to BCM, the organization that works with 22 other private clinics to provide services at prestigious medical centres, over 10,000 international patients have been treated during 2008. The figures published show a 4% increase in the hospitalizations and outpatient surgeries performed in foreign patients. More precisely, there have been 4,710 procedures performed and around 5,100 consultations from international clients.

Having some of the most important hospitals and private clinics in Spain, Barcelona has long attracted highly respected physicians in many areas of expertise. This could be reason enough to choose it as a location for a consultation or a medical procedure but, more recently, the comparatively low cost of medical services and neighbouring countries’ legislation has helped Barcelona to get where it stands now.

Services typically sought by travellers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, cosmetic surgeries.

Fieldwork implications:

  • The researcher can find top respondents and key opinion leaders in almost all the specialities including plastic surgeons, cardiologists and fertilization specialists.
  • The newest techniques and procedures are likely to be performed in Barcelona.
  • It stands out as one of the ideal locations to research medical devices and medical instruments.

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Tags: cardiac surgery, fertility treatment, cardiologists, plastic surgeons, Barcelona, Catalan Agency of Tourism, BCM, joint replacement, cosmetic surgery, Spain, international patients

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