Discussions on making Greece a top destination in the world map of health tourism dominated a two day special conference at the Greek Centre in Melbourne, during the weekend 25 & 26 November 2017.
The conference was organised by the International Health Tourism Centre and the World Institute of Greek Doctors, in collaboration with the Greek Community of Melbourne and the Hellenic Medical Association of Melbourne, under the auspices of the Athens Medical Association and the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece.
The conference was attended by eminent members of the scientific and business community of Greece and Australia, leading medical professionals, members of the Australian government, representatives of companies active in the field of tourism and health and media from Greece and abroad.
The speakers highlighted the comparative advantages of Greece in the field of health and developed an action plan to increase Greece’s share of the global health tourism market turnover, which, according to recent surveys, exceeds $ 100 billion annually and is expected to increase by 15% -25% per year.
Dr George Patoulis, President of the Athens Medical Association, the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece, the International Health Tourism Center and the World Institute of Greek Doctors, stressed the need to develop an integrated strategic plan for the development of health tourism in Greece. He also referred to the need to create a roadmap through which specific policies will be proposed to promote our national goals in this area.
“The creation of a strong brand and reputation of Greece as an attractive destination of health tourism is crucial for the success of the new strategy. Our priority is to mobilize and encourage the Greeks abroad to support our effort and to become ambassadors of goodwill, consumers, suppliers, sponsors and investors,” Mr. Patoulis said.
The President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Mr Bill Papastergiadis, pointed out that Australia is a dynamic market from which Greece can benefit as many Australian patients travel abroad. He also said that the cooperation between the two countries is excellent, with the help of the dynamic Greek community of Australia.
Μs Christina Simantiraki, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, noted that health tourism was a key pillar of development and stressed that it has already launched an information campaign in Australia to promote health tourism.
Mr Patoulis held talks with Greek and Australian government members and local government officials who participated in the two-day conference. Specific issues of common interest were discussed with the former Victoria minister Mr John Pantazopoulos, and state member for Oakleigh Mr Steve Dimopoulos.
Constantine Pantos, Vice President of the World Institute of Greek Doctors and Secretary General of the Hellenic Reproductive Medicine Society, said: «The Greek scientists who work in various countries of the world and belong to the World Institute of Greek doctors are those who help in building confidence for the services that Greece offers in the field of medical tourism.
Prominent members of the scientific community spoke about the high level of health services provided in Greece. Also during the conference parents that had used IVF spoke of their experience and expressed their gratitude to Greek scientists who helped them conceive.