Eco-tourism and spa-tourism have remained the pillars of Tunisian economy. In recent years, medical tourism has become the key contributor to Tunisian economy.
Tunisia offers several advantages to medical tourists looking for personal care. Proven expertise of the healthcare professionals (cosmetic surgeons in particular), competent medical staff, medicine and wellness, ultra-modern healthcare infrastructure and proximity to Europe, Africa and Middle East make Tunisia a hotspot of the medical tourism. The medical practices in Tunisia are equivalent to European standards.
Tunisia has established expertise in providing cosmetic surgery and gastric bypass surgery services. Medical tourists from France have been conventionally visiting Tunisia for the Bariatrics surgery, as it is more accessible in Tunisia than in France. French regulations require patients to consider other strategies and methods for weight loss before surgery, quoted deputy director-general of Tunisian medical clinic Clinique Pasteur. Medical tourists from Libya and Algeria have remained a substantial source, as their health systems secure the provisions of funding patient’s treatment abroad. Socio-political crisis in Libya, has damaged the healthcare structure, Tunisia is no behind in seizing the advantage of the situation.
National industry body, Global Wellness Institute (GWI), reported that, Tunisia welcomes around 5,77,300 wellness tourists spending almost US$313 Mn in 2017. GWI additionally noted that, mineral rich seawater and hot springs are popular amongst medical tourists looking for wellness treatments.
Tunisia is believed to offer 40-50% cheaper cosmetic treatments compared to Europe. Reasonable standard of living, cheaper workforce and very favourable currency exchange rates constitute the reasons behind cost-effective treatments in Tunisia compared to European nations.
Tunisia hosts 2000 basic healthcare centres, 180 hospitals and more than 100 private hospitals coupled with the good network of pharmacies and quick responding emergency healthcare services.
Face lift surgery in UK costs around US$ 10,000-11,000. Similar therapy in US costs around US$8,000-9,000. Tunisia offers the high-end face lift surgery along with neck lift without imposing much burden on the individual’s pocket. The therapy in Tunisia costs around US$3,000-3500. Such an enormous difference in the costs is attributed to number of days spent in the hospital, surgeon’s fees, instruments used during the surgical procedures, medications cost, services availed during the hospital stay and cost of emergency services if any. The more ordinary standard of living and lower manpower costs reduced the cost of healthcare expenditures in Tunisia. Tunisia has hence charmed majority of crowds from Europe for medical tourism.
Liposuction surgery in UK costs around US$5,000-5,500. The similar therapy in Tunisia costs around US$2000-2500. Apart from the cost-effective liposuction, patient friendly policies make Tunisia a favoured destination for Liposuction and other therapies.
Increasing accreditation of healthcare institutions in the country and continuous development in healthcare infrastructure will further promote the medical tourism in Tunisia. In the coming period, Tunisia with its competitive prices will challenge the monopoly of some countries in medical tourism. This robust competition to provide cost-effective quality healthcare will help reduce the burden on patient’s pocket and will achieve new heights in medical tourism!
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