Latvia-Ukraine Ties: Medical tourism in Latvia gaining popularity among Ukrainians
Society16:00 Jul. 21, 2016

Medical tourism in Latvia gaining popularity among Ukrainians

Expectant mothers granted additional privileges

Latvia instead of Crimea. More and more Ukrainians tend to travel to Latvia on medical purposes rather than search treatment in Ukraine.

Medical tourism is gaining popularity among the Ukrainians for several reasons. Latvian doctors mostly speak Russian, so no additional costs for interpreting are needed. In comparison to average European prices the cost of being treated in Latvia is much cheaper. Thus, more available for the Ukrainian patients.

This trend started first during the Revolution of Dignity. The ophthalmologist Valdis Valters went to Ukraine on his own will, assisting in treating Ukrainians who have lost their sight. Since then, the centre for microsurgery of eyes has already treated dozens of Ukrainian soldiers, wounded in the zone of anti-terrorist operation.

Valdis Valters, specialist on eye prosthetics: "We expressed the great desire to help Ukraine on its way to independence and democracy. During the Euromaidan protests we treated a lot of Ukrainian patients."

Watch also Latvia sends more aid to Ukraine

Ukrainian women are especially grateful to the Baltic country, because the future moms have special privileges there.

Leyla Bekmane, member of invest agency: "Latvia and Ukraine have signed a treaty entitling Ukrainian women to deliver children for free. All they have to pay for is additional service after the accouchement. The Russians though pay for everything."

It is not only the patients who come here from Ukraine. Ukrainian medical staff is also eager to work in Latvian hospitals. They say high salaries and proper service is what they lack in Ukraine.

Vladyslav Buryk, neurosurgeon from Ukraine: "While working in Ukraine I used to deal with cyber-knife in treating brain tumours. The clinic I currently work in possesses the newest and the most developed equipment in the whole Europe, designed for operating severe brain damages."

Watch also Job Offer From President: American-Born Ukrainian to join Ukraine's healthcare ministry

Those Ukrainians already being treated in Latvian hospitals say they had to pay in average 30% more as if they had to in Ukraine. However, this is the final sum, including the award for the doctors, whereas in Ukrainian clinics they would have to encounter additional illegal expenses.

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