Latvia’s changing inbound medical travel

Latvia flag, toy plane and passport, which relates to medical tourism

In 2019, more than 25,000 people from different countries used medical services in Latvia, according to the Latvian Health Tourism Cluster. Most were from Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.   Now, Latvia’s target markets for medical tourism are Nordic countries, UK, Ireland, Germany, as well as Lithuania and Estonia.

During the pandemic, travel restrictions made it difficult for medical tourists from third countries to visit Latvia.

Now there are far smaller numbers of medical tourists, and they are mostly from Lithuania and the UK. The country no longer encourages medical tourists from Belarus or from Russia.

Ukraine remains an important market for Latvia. Due to the war, it recognises there will be many Ukrainians who are looking to other countries for elective surgery, diagnostics and urgent operations.

As yet, the country has not seen a sharp decline in international patient demand for operations or diagnostic due to perceived safety concerns from the war in Ukraine.