Polys Georgiades of the Medical Services Promotion Agency urges the Cyprus government to help and finance medical tourism, as it will bring economic benefits and without help the country will miss out on the sector.
Polys Georgiades explains, “The state should meet its commitment and help the private sector both in the development of infrastructure and in boosting credibility for Cyprus internationally.”
Georgiades says 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 stresses that in the current economic conditions there is a need for 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 can provide the service.”
Georgiades says 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 adds that Cyprus must meet international standards and introduce reforms to become a valuable destination for medical travelers.
He argues that Cyprus has the necessary medical and health infrastructure, and a high level of service. Stressing that health tourists can combine their treatment with vacations in luxurious hotels, he adds 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.