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Medical Tourism to Russia

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Overview

Healthcare in Russia is provided through the state by the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund, and is regulated by the Ministry of Health. Russia’s Constitution provides all citizens with rights to free healthcare, and this arrangement has been in place since 1996. Russia underwent a financial crisis starting in 2014 and, since that time, a tremendous amounts of cuts in health spending have resulted in a decline in the overall service quality. Hospitals today are understaffed, wait times are long, and citizens have to pay for previously free services and procedures.

Russian Healthcare System

Towards the end of the Soviet Union, Russian healthcare was composed of both state and private systems. Drastic cuts in funding to the state operations resulted in a declining in service quality. This positioned private facilities to be competitive and they did so by marketing themselves as a better quality service. The state funded healthcare system made great improvements throughout the 2000s under the Putin administration, as greater focus and more funding was given to the state owned healthcare system

When traveling to Russia for medical procedures and services, it is advisable to seek out services at a private hospital instead of a state funded facility.

Russia currently has four facilities accredited by the Join Commission International including:
1.European Medical Center – Schepkina Hospital
2.Fantasy Group of Medical Companies (Network)
3.JSC Medicina
4.Regional Emergency Medical Center of Naberezyhnye City

Top hospitals for medical tourism in Russia

  • Hospital Lapino “Mother and Child”: This multifaceted medical center is located in Lapino (Moscow region) and strives to meet international standards for medical practices and offers, Traumatology, Orthopedics, Urology, Perinatal care, Rehabilitation, and Medical SPA.
  • European Medical Centre: The European Medical Centre is an impressive 5,000 sq. ft. facility and aims to provide patients with the best medical care in the country through accessing the latest medical technologies and brightest professionals.
  • GMS Clinic: The GMS Clinic is a multi-specialty facility and diagnostic center that offers a wide variety of medical services. The GMS Clinic touts itself as the “convenience of Western medicine without having to leave Moscow.”
  • St. Petersburg Psychiatric Hospital of Specialized Type with Intense Observation: This is one of eight Russian psychiatric hospitals that fall under federal control for the treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill persons. These patients typically committed socially dangerous acts in a state of insanity and were released from criminal responsibility under court decision of lack of mental prowess.

Common treatments done by medical tourists in Russia

  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Dentistry
  • IVF
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Oncology
  • Vascular Surgery
  • Phlebology Surgery

Cost of medical treatments in Russia

The following are cost comparisons between Medical procedures in Russia and equivalent procedures in the United States:
Medical Procedures
ProcedureUS HospitalsRussiaAverage Savings
IVF$12,000$310074%
Cavity Treatment and filling$200$9055%
Phlebology Surgery $4,500$100077%

Malpractice and liability laws in Russia

The Russian government has noted that it is interested in implementing a robust medical malpractice system during the mandatory health insurance system modernization. Currently there exists a malpractice structure for victims of medical injuries to seek compensation for their losses from the responsible party, but there is no true legislative body that regulates the medical malpractice laws in the country.

Pros

  • Low Cost

    In-vitro fertilization procedures are 2.5 times cheaper than in any other European country of the USA. The low costs are not limited to reproductive procedures. Some estimates put costs at a rate that’s four times cheaper than what’s offered in the western world.
  • JCI Accredited

    Four facilities currently hold the prestigious JCI accreditation and others are working to achieve that same level of recognition.
  • Options

    Russia has many clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and general medical facilities offering a wide range of services to their guests. You’re not as limited in choices as you are with other destinations.

Cons

  • Long Wait Times

    Rising healthcare costs and long wait time have caused millions of people to search other destinations for medical procedures. Russia has had a great deal of success with medical tourism and, because of this, tend to have long wait times at certain hospitals.
  • Staffing

    Approximately 40% of medical facilities in Russia are understaffed, while others are simply closing their doors.

Traveling to Russia

Average estimated travel time in hours
From/ToRussia
New York9
Los Angeles12
Miami11.5
Toronto12
Paraguay16
Venezuela16
Bolivia19
Dubai7
Riyadh7.5
Kuwait7
London7.5

Entry and exit requirements to Russia

To gain entry to Russia, you must possess a valid passport and a bona fide visa issued by either a Russian Embassy or Consulate. It’s nearly impossible to obtain an entry visa when arriving, so visitors are asked to apply for their travel visa well in advance of their visit. In order to obtain a Russian visa, the first thing you’ll need is an invitation known as a visa support letter, which can be obtain through a local travel agency or through a Russian consulate.

Statistics for medical tourism in Russia

In 2016, approximately 24.5 million people visited Russia for tourism purposes. Approximately 16.5% of these tourists were in Russian for medical purposes. Russia has seen a slight decline in the overall tourism numbers, as well as those traveling there for medical reasons.

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