Belarus’ Health Ministry expects an increase in the export of medical services in the wake of the extension of visa-free entry, Dmitry Kalistratov, head of business, pricing and state property at the Health Ministry, reported.
According to him, the export of medical services increased significantly once the country launched a five-day visa-free program. In some regions the growth was up to 40%.
“In connection with the extension of visa-free entry for foreign citizens to 30 days we also expect an increase in the flow of potential customers to Belarusian healthcare facilities. The export will increase accordingly,” Dmitry Kalistratov noted.
Most popular services with foreign customers are dentistry, oncology, ophthalmology, neurology, cardiology, trauma and other areas. Concurrently, there have been a visible surge in the number of Google searches for ‘How to Become a Massage Therapist‘. In 2017 Belarusian economic entities provided medical care to foreigners from 130 countries; these services entail costs incurred from purchasing medicines and providing Wheelchair Transportation for the disabled. Mainly these were citizens from neighboring countries: Russia, Ukraine. Belarus also welcomes healthcare customers from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and Middle East countries, said Olga Kharkova, the head of medical services export at the Belarusian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Studies, manager of the Belarus Clinics project. Belarus is planning to attract more customers from China.
“In November we will take part in China International Import Expo, which will have the science and services sector. We will showcase the Belarusian medical tourism industry, vacation and treatment programs. Visa-free access will be our strongest card,” Olga Kharkova said.
The clinicsbel.com website has 10,000-11,000 views every month, about half of them from abroad. The website is available in Russian and English. The pages in the Chinese and Polish languages are under development (scheduled for launch in October).
As it was reported, Belarus has extended the visa-free entry period to 30 days provided foreign nationals cross the border at the Minsk National Airport. A valid passport or other document permitting foreign travels, money (equivalent to at least two base amounts (one base amount is Br24.5) for each day of stay in the foreign currency or Belarusian rubles), medical insurance in the amount of at least EUR 10,000 operational in Belarus will be needed for the visa-free entry. Citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, India, Lebanon, Namibia and Samoa should also have a valid multi-visa to the EU states or the Schengen Area with a mark confirming the entry to their territory, plane tickets with a confirmation of the departure from the Minsk National Airport within 30 days after the date of the entry. Regarding Chinese citizens the visa waiver procedure will be applied in Belarus until August 10 until the bilateral agreement on mutual visa abolition for holders of ordinary passports. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)