News

Osec and Swiss Tourism establish an association to market Switzerland as a health destination

To enable Swiss service providers in the health sector to make maximum use of their business potential abroad, Osec and Swiss Tourism are establishing the “Swiss Health” Association. A study conducted by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute shows that “Medical Tourism” is growing throughout the world and that there is a need to act in Switzerland with regard to marketing Health Services abroad.

The market in cross-border medical treatment has great global potential and is experiencing steady growth. To enable Swiss service providers to benefit from this market potential, it is essential clearly to position and market Switzerland as a health destination. The best medical care, political stability, a very good tourist infrastructure and excellent transport links create the perfect conditions for successful marketing abroad. It is a fact that foreign travel is increasingly being undertaken for medical reasons and “medical tourism” now plays a large part. This is shown in a study by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, commissioned by the official Swiss foreign trade promoter, Osec. According to this study, Switzerland has the right conditions to become a leading health destination. However, the right conditions, on their own, are not sufficient. What will be demanded in future is well co-ordinated marketing co-operation between the Swiss health service providers when marketing the Swiss health system. Co-operation between medicine and tourism can open up additional innovation and development potential, enabling advantages to be exploited in the global competition for locations. The potential is great, because as affluence increases, more is spent on health. It is precisely in the dynamic markets, such as China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, that some gaps in supply occur within top-flight medicine. Joint marketing of the Swiss Health Services abroad In order to make better use of international market potential for Health Services and to push forward a process (“Help towards self-help”), Osec and Swiss Tourism established the “Swiss Health” Association. The objective of this Association is to market the Swiss health sector and its services abroad and, therefore, to bring foreign patients to Switzerland. It is precisely in the health sector that Swiss hospitals and rehabilitation facilities provide services that are technologically advanced and of high quality. In order to be able to run the activities of the association most effectively, Osec and Swiss tourism will not themselves be operationally involved. During the start-up phase, the office and operational management of “Swiss Health” will be taken over by SWIXMED AG under licence. SWIXMED AG, Zurich, has specialised in organising medical treatment for foreign patients in Switzerland and each year looks after clients from more than 30 different countries. Doris Leuthard, Federal Councillor and head of the Swiss Department of Economics, welcomes this initiative and says: “The creation of “Swiss Health” is another important step in the marketing of Swiss quality abroad. This will enable synergies between the players in the health sector to be optimised. As the health market will become a decisive location factor worldwide in the near future, this association is doing its bit to reinforce Switzerland as a corporate location.”

Further information:
Patrick Djizmedjian Head of Public Relations / Public Affairs
Osec
Stampfenbachstrasse 85 / CH-8021 Zurich
Tel. +41 44 365 55 16 /
Fax +41 44 365 54 92 /
pdjizmedjian@osec.ch;
www.osec.ch