Medical Tourism in Croatia: Where are we now?
Sandra Barač Mifarević, PhD Student
Faculty for Management in Tourism and Hospitality, Opatija, Primorska 42
University of Rijeka
Recently, medical tourism became one of the rapidly growing industries globally with 25% growth yearly with the value of over 200 billion euros. North America, Asia and Europe hold the most significant share of this value. According to The Medical Tourism Market – Global Industry Analysis Report, the forecast by 2027 will be a value of 272.70 billion US dollars. Croatia has strong potential for developing the medical tourism industry as an integral and essential part of the whole tourism industry in Croatia. But, lack of political will and public sector efforts decrease these opportunities. Fundamental healthcare reform is needed and improves outdated infrastructure with low service quality, including accommodation and accompanying catering and recreational facilities. Health care tourism is not competitive in this exceptionally demanding market. Singapore, India and Turkey can be excellent examples
of doing thing rights, showing the path to success to the Croatian medical tourism industry. Where is Croatia right now, and what can be done to move forward is a big question. Several authors offer possible solutions that can lead to achieving objectives and goals stated in the National Strategy for Development of Healthcare and Action Plan until 2028.
The future development of the medical tourism industry is an exciting area both in applicative and scientific fields, which can encourage further scientific efforts to explore more deeply the subject.
Keywords: medical tourism, tourism growth, Croatia