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Moscow MEDSHOW | 20-21 September 2014 | Moscow, Russia

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Special Interview

 
 

 Creating Russiaís New Medical Tourism Sector
By Mahatma Davis, Editor-in-Chief | June 17, 2014


Kim Waddoup, CEO of aiGroup


 

In a Special Interview for ArabMedicare.com, Mr. Kim Waddoup, CEO of aiGroup and organizers of Russiaís first B2C exhibition for consumers/patients, talks about how Russia has become a prime market for healthcare providers to attract Russian patients seeking care abroad.

ArabMedicare.com:  How would you describe Moscow MedShow?

Kim Waddoup:
The Moscow MedShow is the first professional business-to-consumer (B2C) exhibition in Russia specifically targeting end consumers/patients. Itís a concentrated 2-day exhibition providing tangible results for our exhibitors though our highly targeted marketing.

ArabMedicare.com: How is the Moscow MedShow different from other medical tourism events held in Russia?

Kim Waddoup:
Other events in Russia are primarily either conferences or as part of a tourism exhibition. Our aim has been to create a professional B2C exhibition with a highly targeted audience of Russian people interested in medical treatment abroad. This is a relatively new market in Russia and there are few professional agents or facilitators, naturally these professionals are invited to visit. With a carefully calculated marketing budget we attract more than 3,500 potential patients to each event.

ArabMedicare.com: What do think is happening in the Russian healthcare market that is creating a growing demand in outbound patient flows?


Kim Waddoup:
The Russian economy does continue to improve and this has resulted in more disposable income in the private sector. Whilst many hospitals and clinics have been renovated or constructed, there is still a major shortage for high quality health care. Russianís have long considered treatment abroad as preferable, and now this is available to the fast growing middle class.

ArabMedicare.com:  What can exhibitors expect to experience if they participate at Moscow MedShow?


Kim Waddoup:
A lot of hard work! Russianís are naturally inquisitive and always have many, many questions. They are cautious and it is important to build respect and trust. They must have all materials prepared in Russian language and must either have interpreters or Russian speaking staff on the stand. We attract 3,500+ potential clients over the two days so it is always busy.

ArabMedicare.com: What do you think will be some of some of the challenges and opportunities facing Arab healthcare providers seeking to attract Russian patients?

Kim Waddoup:
The two major challenges will be language and culture. As mentioned it is essential to have Russian speaking staff or interpreters available. Many Russianís travel extensively to Arab destinations for tourism or business and it will also be necessary to "educate" them about the high quality facilities and doctors that are available. Plus points will be ease of travel and competitive pricing combined with warm/sunny destinations.

ArabMedicare.com: How big is the Russian market for outbound patient?


Kim Waddoup:
It is reliably estimated that more than 70,000 Russians travel abroad each year for medical treatment. The market is rapidly growing in size and value and we experience this trend first hand, with so many interested potential patients coming to our exhibitions.

ArabMedicare.com: What are some of the preferred treatment options sought by Russian patients?


Kim Waddoup:
We conducted a major survey at the Spring MedShow that was held from 1-2 March 2014, so we have accurate and recent data: - 63% of the potential patients indicated that they are looking for diagnosis and subsequent treatment as required, 9% or approximately 6,300 people indicated that they are looking for surgery abroad, a further 6% are interested in cosmetic surgery while 7% are looking for dental treatment outside Russia. A further 15% expressed their interest in spa and preventative medicine.

ArabMedicare.com:  What are some of the cultural differences that Arab healthcare providers should know about for attracting Russian patients to markets like Dubai, Jordan, Tunisia, and other Middle Eastern medical tourism markets?


Kim Waddoup:
  As mentioned, language should be the main consideration. Cultural differences should be minimized wherever possible to make the patients feel at ease. However, professional service provided with a smile should smooth the way.

ArabMedicare.com:  How do you envision Moscow MedShow in 3-5 years? And, how do you see the role of aiGroup shaping the Russian medical tourism market on the global stage?


Kim Waddoup:
With all our exhibitions and events we constantly strive to provide our exhibitors with an extremely high and friendly level of service. We also believe in transparency and are the only organizer in Russia to use individually coded badges to enable us to quote the exact number of visitors. We hope that we will also be able to assist the growing Russian Medical Tourism Market to provide professional service and to regulate itself. We also work closely with our visitors and receive tremendous feedback and we listen to their ideas and suggestions. We will grow with the market and we will defend our position as the "premier" exhibition in Russia for medical tourism abroad.


Related Information
:
Moscow MEDSHOW - www.medshow.ru/eng/

 

 

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