Medical tourism: 2014/2015 global consumer market update
 Tbilisi 18:00 - 22.01.15 «GHN»
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Being dependent on the export of energy resources, Russia's economy is teetering on the verge of recession and the forecasts for its recovery are unnerving. In addition to punishing Western sanctions that have rained down on the major economic indicators, domestic economic policy often fails to support a raft of industries. Such turn of events had a particularly negative rebound effect on healthcare, in addition to a cut of 20 percent in 2014/2015 healthcare budget.
It is commonly known that medical industry is knowledge-intensive and budget-dependent. The lion's share of medical equipment in Russian hospitals is foreign-made. That said, a whole range of medical devices fall under the category of dual-use goods owing to the Western sanctions. Hence, foreign-made medical equipment is to be replaced by domestically made one. However, neither medical practitioners nor patients know what Russian companies manufacture.

This is particularly so in cases of oncologic diseases. Oncology situation in the Russian Federation is complex. Olga Zheludkova, oncologist at the Russian Scientific Centre of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, shares her opinion on the prospects of technical re-equipment of the centre with domestically made devices: "Let's say I can get on a Russian bicycle and even ride it. But I have not seen a domestically made CT scanner during 30 years of my practice". As an aside, all equipment in the department of oncology is foreign-made.

Consequently, oncology in Russia is gradually moving towards collapse, while the number of cancer patients keeps increasing. Early diagnosis of cancer in Russia is out of the question. Therefore, Russian cancer patients are predominantly complex. That is why Russian patients look at the neighbouring countries where the cost of treatment is lowers as compared to Western clinics while hospitals' technical infrastructure is maintained at a high level. At the same time those who have a reliable financial cushion actively seek treatment abroad. The latter, however, become a less common reality amid a growing economic crisis and incredibly pessimistic forecasts for the future. All these aspects as well as new trends in global healthcare will be discussed at the 4th Congress on Healthcare and Medical Tourism (GHMTC)to be held in three stages in Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan from 14 April to 20 April 2015.

The platform for direct negotiations and face-to-face sales - the 4th Medical and Health Tourism Mart (MHTM)- will be traditionally available as part of the Congress.

Kazakhstan: Almaty GHMTC&MHTM, , April 14-15th, 2015
Georgia Tbilisi: GHMTC&MHTM, April 17th, 2015
Azerbaijan: Baku GHMTC&MHTM, , April 20th, 2015
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