Azerbaijan sees potential in health tourism

Azerbaijan is developing its tourism potential but making it a destination for health and medical tourism will not be easy.

Azerbaijan has long-term plans to develop medical facilities, and the first step would be to privatise hospitals and clinics. Many have been reconstructed and renovated by the government, and supplied with modern equipment. Azerbaijan has spent a lot of money so wants to get its money back by asking high prices. Buyers do not agree with the price asked so for the time being these health facilities will remain in state ownership. That Azerbaijan is suffering from the massive drop in oil prices explains why it suddenly wants to sell hospitals, and buyers are deciding whether or not there is enough potential to take advantage of this desperation.

Azerbaijan has the basics to develop health tourism – fresh mountain air, pure water, organic and beaches on the Caspian Sea. The oil producer Azerbaijan also has a clinic that treats with Naftalan crude oil, renowned for its curative properties. The price of medical treatment in the country is low, but admits that prices in neighbour Georgia are even lower.

The target market would be CIS 09 residents but currently they prefer Germany, Israel, Austria, Switzerland, the USA and South Korea for medical checkups, targeted diagnostics, surgery and complex rehabilitation.