A private medical centre on the Costa Brava wants to attract more European healthcare tourism

The healthcare tourism sector is growing. Russian, British and German visitors make the most of their holiday trip by visiting specialists, passing medical tests or undergoing a surgical operation. As a response to this, a private medical center in Girona has announced that it will invest more than €1 million to profit from healthcare tourism.

CNA / Paula Montañà

June 5, 2013 01:04 AM

Barcelona (ACN) – Over the last few years Catalonia has see the raising of the so-called healthcare tourism. Russian, English or German visitors, make the most of their holiday trip by not only going to the beach or visiting Barcelona, but also to visit specialists, pass medical tests or undergoing a surgical operation. Now, a private medical centre from Girona (Costa Brava) has announced that it will invest more than €1 million to profit from healthcare tourism coming from all over Europe. Apart from the medical staff, translators, hotels and tourist guides are other key pieces in this sector.

The Onyar Clinic, based in Girona, is the medical centre that wants to explore and lead healthcare tourism in its zone of influence. The clinic is already visited by tourists when they need some medical assistance during their holidays, but now, Onyar Clinic will invest more than €1 million to attract a new kind of tourism. 

According to its chief executive officer, Robert Ortiz de Zevallos, the proposal is to create agreements with foreign medical centres and to show off Girona as a good place to travel and receive medical assistance. As the president of the Onyar Clinic, doctor Xavier Busquets, said “for foreigners it could be a good option to take medical tests or surgical procedures that are difficult to do in other countries.”

The Onyar Clinic has joined up with the private network of medical centres Catalonia-Costa Brava; a network specialised in the medicine and tourism fields. The managers of the clinic explain that the budget they will be spending over the next two years will be destined to upgrading facilities and equipment and investing in innovative treatments. They currently have 60 professionals on the staff, now some of them multilingual, and they take care of over 5,000 patients of different nationalities every year.

Healthcare Tourism in Barcelona

The Catalan capital is the big focus of the tourism industry and since 2008 a council is dedicated to promoting Barcelona as a healthcare tourism destination. The association is integrated by 20 medical centres under the name Barcelona Centre Medic (BCM) and business from other economic sectors. They offer all kinds of assistance, medical examinations and other special services such as booking and accommodation, travel arrangements and leisure information.