Malaga health tourism bid to boost Brand Spain
Alex Dunham · 13 May 2013, 12:25
Published: 13 May 2013 12:25 GMT+02:00
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Public and private healthcare providers from the UK, Holland, Norway, Finland, Germany, China, Indonesia and Russia will start sending patients to Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol in the next few months, Andalusian daily Sur reported on Monday.
Fundación Málaga Health and Tourism & Health Spain are the two companies behind a deal which will allow international patients to be treated and operated on in Spanish clinics.
They also hope to bring between €250 to 300 million to the province every year from healthcare payments alone.
“Spain has a service-based economy and healthcare is the most highly regarded sector in the country,” Miguel Such, surgeon and driving force behind the campaign, told online newspaper Málaga Hoy.
“We've never taken advantage of this. We think it will help to create a sustainable tourism model that doesn't depend on seasons. It will also bring prestige to brand Spain.”
Such plans to make Malaga one of 55 cities around the world that make a whopping €70 billion a year from health tourism.
The Malaga-based surgeon thinks Spain has gained prominence for its excellent medical system that offers low cost and quality medical treatment to Spanish patients.
“The government has invested a lot in the country’s healthcare, now’s the time to reap the benefits.”
With nearly 4,500 private hospital beds and 42 per cent of Andalusia’s four and five star hotels, Malaga has the third highest number of both private healthcare and hotel facilities in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona.
Competitive prices for treatment and regular flights make it an even better deal for foreign healthcare providers.
“The British market is our first target, because in the UK the Costa del Sol is very well-known,” Jesús Burgos, spokesperson for Tourism & Health Spain, told Andalusian daily Sur.