Latvia plans to develop health tourism over next three years

Latvia is committed to developing the export of healthcare services over the next three years, increasing the number of health tourists and returning doctors from abroad. This is foreseen in the Action Plan for the Development of Health Services Exports 2024-2027, which was approved by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, March 19.

Last November, the Cabinet of Ministers approved an information report on developing the export of healthcare services. According to the report, foreign patients visiting Latvia in person mostly use expensive medical manipulations with a higher degree of complexity - including in particular bariatric surgery, infertility treatment and medical insemination, as well as plastic surgery.

There are no queues of patients in Latvia for these medical services, so there is no reason to fear that the admission of health tourists would have a negative impact on the availability of healthcare services to locals.

The information report concluded that health tourism contributes to the country's economic growth and makes a real financial contribution to the state budget, promotes the retention of health professionals in the country, and encourages their return to the country.

Therefore, the Action Plan envisages promoting Latvia's economic growth by increasing the export of healthcare services, improving the image of Latvia in the export of healthcare services, and establishing a regulatory ecosystem favorable to the export of healthcare services. 

By 2027, it is envisaged to increase the annual income of medical institutions from health tourists to EUR 15 million, increase the number of foreign health tourists by 20%, introduce international quality certification processes, including internationally recognized ones, for patient service quality in at least 10 medical institutions, and return at least 10 medical professionals to Latvia.

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