The Chairman of the Medical Services Promotion Agency of Cyprus Polys Georgiades has urged the government to help and finance the field of medical tourism, saying it will bring economic benefits and warning that otherwise the country will “miss the train”.
"The state should meet its commitment and help the private sector both in the development of infrastructure and in boosting credibility for Cyprus internationally," said Georgiades.
In an interview with CNA, on the occasion of the 7th Annual General Meeting of the Medical Services Promotion Agency, Georgiades said that after the events of March 2013 with the impairment of insecure deposits and Cyprus’ banking restrictions, all designs and strategies for medical tourism were marginalized, since clinics, hospitals and all health service providers have given priority to ensuring their everyday viability.
He stressed however that in the current economic conditions there is a need for the health providers to stop depending on the internal market, by attracting patients from abroad.
"We must pay attention to alternatives to attract people, beyond the sun and the sea. Medical tourism is a good opportunity, because we have the infrastructure and therefore we can provide the service," he said.
He also said that Cyprus will have to build its own identity as a medical tourist destination and will have to survive the tough competition from more than sixty countries where medical tourism is a national industry. He added that Cyprus must meet international standards and introduce the necessary reforms in order to become an valuable destination for medical travelers.
Referring to the prospects of medical tourism in Cyprus, Georgiades said that Cyprus has all the necessary medical and health infrastructure, and a high level of service in the medical field.
Stressing that health tourists in Cyprus can combine their treatment with vacations in luxurious hotels, he added that specialized surveys have shown that the country can develop phototherapeutic tourism, since the sun has special properties for the treatment of individuals who have symptoms of depression due to lack of adequate sunshine in their country.
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