Ευκαιρίες, δυνατότητες και προοπτικές ανάπτυξης του ιατρικού τουρισμού: η συμβολή του στην ανάπτυξη της οικονομίας
Medical tourism consists an alternative form of tourism, where people travel to a country beyond the international borders, to receive a type of medical care, guided mainly, but not exclusively, by cost factors and quality of health care. This study explores medical tourism’s contribution to the economy, as well as the prospects of its development in Greece and globally, through the review of international literature. Results show that Greece has many features (history in medical tourism, modern infrastructure and innovative technological equipment in private hospitals and clinics, etc.) which can favor the development of medical tourism in the country, but to date the country has not make full use of its potential, with one of its major weakness being the lack of a national strategy to promote and develop medical tourism. The country could build a strong brand name around reproductive tourism, which, compared to other countries, has a competitive advantage. Given that the demand for quality and low-cost health services around the world will continue to grow over the forthcoming years, due to a sustained increase in life expectancy, Greece must immediately develop a national strategy for medical tourism, in order to begin to take its place as a key player in the medical travel industry.