What Determines Medical Tourism on the Russian-Speaking Market
What required and wanted from the treatment by Russian-speaking patients and their relatives abroad? This question can be answered if we consider what has been the healthcare system of the USSR and what happened after the collapse. It is an indispensable condition for determining the state of the Russian-speaking market of medical tourism today.
What is the Nature of the Medical Tourist?
Now these countries have different standards of health care systems, insurance and participation of the private and public sectors. Nevertheless, they all share one trait - they are post-Soviet nations (with the post-Soviet patients and doctors) with their respective mentality and health systems, which are now undergoing reformation.
All this means that the stable form of attitudes and opinions is not yet established . The middle class is weak and solvency is rather low. Yet in these sectors of society there’s it’s own elite layer, from which is the number of those who are treated abroad.
Due experience of the last 20 years, the Russian-speaking patient is different from all the other patients in the world. He remembers "the highest standard of Soviet medicine" (when the healthiest patients were simply alive). At the same time, he is dissatisfied with the present quality of service and lost confidence in the medical staff.
He is extraordinarily demanding and pretentious, always looking for the best deals, the most convenient and favorable conditions and he always has a choice.
Worth noting that now the market is not the same, as it was in the period of the Union. There are many different political regimes and methods of approach to this issue, which, respectively, differ from each other.
Overall, a staple of companies engaged in medical tourism is a "medical tour" - as a medical / diagnostic (meaning patients and their accompanying persons), and education (nurses and medical students of any category.)
Importance of Knowing the Russian Language and Mentality
The language problem is very important in medical tourism business. Nevertheless, it is not only language skills, but also knowledge and understanding of this market and the mentality of patients.
Russian language is still the main spoken language of the vast Russian Federation and the countries of post-Soviet space. But at the same time, there are countries, such as the countries of the Caucasus, where the new generation and the residents do not know the Russian. In this case, you need to provide local translators for their language. Also, it’s very important to create an atmosphere of customers’ home communities from the moment of getting the receipt of the application. Telephone calls may be conducted in Russian if necessary details are asked. The company is very necessary to have a Russian-speaking personnel to communicate with patients and their accompanying persons and the establishment of effective cooperation with partners, providing patients.
Documents (proposals, offer, visa invitations, medical and financial reports) may be submitted in English as the official language of medical tourism business, but the determination in Russian are also needed.
Some documents and contracts with providers, insurance companies and ministries are compiled on Russian. Knowledge of Russian language and mentality increases the number of completed orders and level of satisfaction with services in newcomers patients and people accompanying them, that is the best engine of good marketing.
But because foreign companies rarely have employees who know the Russian language and culture, the players who intend to work on the Russian market, should take on the Russians or immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Plenty of Opportunities for the Development
Medical tourism business has a huge growth potential for the Russian-speaking market and on the world stage as a whole. This market has not yet assimilated and expects big and strong players who will be engaged in large segments of services and become global.
Future of health care system - this large medical centers working on many fronts and combining basic medical, intellectual, scientific and material resources; telemedicine, connecting them with each other and telemedicine offices in the regions and villages; an electronic health care system; and medical tourism, as the future of global health care system.
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