• 16 OCT 15
    Medical Tourists in Spain

    Medical Tourists in Spain

    Medical tourists in Spain

    Medical tourists treated within the private healthcare sector in Spain usually come from the following countries:

    The United Kingdom

    About 70.000 British medical tourists were reported, in 2007, to have travelled abroad to receive medical treatment. According to the “Healthcare Tourism in the UK: a brief overview” report, issued in April 2013 by the ICEX, top of the list medical specialties chosen by these medical travelers were odontology (for implants, crowns and veneers) and aesthetic surgery (for breast augmentation, tummy tuck, body liposuction, face lift, blepharoplasty and rhinoplasty).

    A survey conducted by Treatment Abroad in March 2012, showed that the countries most visited by these British Medical Tourists were Belgium and Hungary (16%), Poland (10%), the Czech Republic (9%) and Turkey (9%). The British have been travelling abroad for years to receive medical treatment and the Eastern European countries were the first ones to respond to this specific demand. This is partly why these regions have become a quite traditional and well established destination among them.

    Further data collected by this report showed that the most popular treatments for British medical tourists were: aesthetic surgery (42%), dental surgery and dental aesthetic (32%), bariatric surgery (4%), fertility treatments (IVF and donor egg IVF) and orthopedic surgery for hip and knee surgeries (4%).

    Other top listed treatments by the British are heart surgery and the refractive surgery techniques for ophthalmology (laser eye surgery).

    According to these figures, Hungary is the favorite destination for dental treatment (about 38%), Belgium for the aesthetic surgery (18%) and Belgium and the Zech Republic for obesity surgeries (with respectively 50% and 21%), while, the leaders for fertility treatments are Spain, Cyprus and the Zech Republic.

    Most British seek treatment away from their home country to get lesser costs or to get quicker access to orthopedic and obesity procedures often delayed by long waiting times at home


    The German Medical Travelers usually know Spain quite well since they traditionally spend their holidays or reside there part of the year. Most have had previous positive experiences while attended by the Spanish healthcare system.

    In Germany, the longest waiting times are headed by specialties like cardiology, heart surgery or the orthopedic surgery (hip and knee replacement). German medical tourists are progressively also getting interested in other cross-borders healthcare services such as the post-operative physiotherapy and the wellness programs.


    This outbound segment of patients has been recurrently identified as a client with great potential for the Spanish healthcare centers interested in gaining weight on the international market. This increasing sector of Spanish tourism is also highly linked to the wellness sector. Russian patients usually seek medical treatments that range from heart surgery to oncology but are also getting more and more interested in all types of programmed surgeries.

    Russians demand other kinds of treatments too like specific aesthetic surgeries, ophthalmology procedures or wellness programs.

    Actually, Barcelona is the Spanish city with most medical tourists and its main objective is to attract part of the 70.000 Russian patients that travel every year to Germany, Switzerland and Austria to get medical treatment.


    Italian medical tourists usually travel to Spain to get treated with fertility techniques like the IVF or the egg donor IVF.

    Today, the Italian legislation on medically assisted reproduction is one of the most restrictive in Europe.


    The French healthcare system is very renowned making it difficult for Spain to attract these patients. In fact, it is, together with Germany, one of its toughest competitors and a traditional receiver country for medical tourists on the European market.

    This system has also managed to reduce waiting times for the performance of some specific medical treatments and surgeries.

    France can, however, be a point of origin for medical travelers towards Spain when French patients are seeking one of the following medical treatments:

    • Fertility treatments: since the Spanish Law is more open and since the Spanish system provides very advanced techniques in medically assisted reproduction.

    • Dental treatments. Implants and dental aesthetics: Lower costs in Spain and the quasi non existing coverage of these procedures by the French Social Security System are some of the main motivating factors to travel abroad.
    • Aesthetic surgery.

    The French medical tourism flows to Spain could also be helped by its geographical nearness and the legislation on free movement of persons within the European Union.

    The Scandinavian region

    Spain is a traditional destination for all Scandinavian tourists. The Costa del Sol and Alicante are the main inbound Spanish areas of residence and though the Swedish healthcare system is highly rated, waiting times in other countries are shorter for oncology and cardiology treatments.


    Motives of the Dutch travelers and their most chosen treatments are quite similar to those given by the German patients.
    Most demanded treatments are: orthopaedic surgery (hip replacement) and cardiology-heart surgery techniques.

    The United States of America

    Despite the remoteness between the in and outbound countries, many Spanish medical tourism websites are trying to play the North American market based on the difference in prices and bearing in mind that the USA are the first country of origin for medical travelers on a worldwide scale.

    The Americans are considered as potential medical tourists for Spain because it is still cheaper for them to travel there than to be treated in their home country.

    Nonetheless, the access to this potential market is quite restricted due to the long-established relationship with destinations like Mexico, Thailand and India.

    The Arab countries

    The Maghreb and the Middle Eastern countries provide segments of the population with high purchasing power levels and willingness to travel.

    Spain and, most especially, the Costa del Sol are long-standing destinations of the Arab citizens.

    These patients are usually seeking medical treatments and specialties that are not available in their countries of origin like the Assisted Reproduction (IVF and egg donor IVF), the advanced techniques used in Cardiology, Orthopedic surgery and Traumatology, plus non invasive surgery and aesthetics.

    The Gulf countries have historically been important issuing countries on a worldwide scale because they cover all their citizens’ medical costs even while abroad.

    The United Arab Emirates spends over 2.000 million dollars every year to provide cross-border medical cover to its citizens.

    In 2010, about 220.000 Saudi Arabia nationals travelled abroad to be treated.

    Competency is however increasing as these outbound countries have established links with other receiving countries like Jordan where patients from the Gulf, Iraq, Soudan, Libya and Yemen are treated. According to the World Bank, Jordan is the fifth country in the world in terms of healthcare tourism volume, with over a 1.000 million dollars income.

    The three main motives for Arab patients to select their potential destinations are: the distance, the availability and the quality-price ratio of services.

Dr. Radua Kamal Salah

Thank you for the kindness, good humour that you have shown as well as the wonderful food. This certainly helps to make a sick person feel better and have a speedy recovery.


Medical Specialities

  • Hair Transplantation Unit

    At Vithas Xanit we offer the most advanced technology for hair transplantation surgery and for non surgical treatments. We attend both men and women, suffering from any capillary loss, either on the scalp or in any other body area (beard, moustache, eyebrows or eyelashes).

  • Cosmetic Surgery and Anti Aging

    Cosmetic Surgery and Anti Aging

    At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional, the Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Unit helps patients to feel good about themselves.
    The latest medical technology and our doctors and surgeons’ perfectionism are key factors in terms of patient satisfaction with the results of their cosmetic surgery or treatment. Liposuction, breast enlargements, rhinoplasty and tummy tucks are among the most applied treatments.

  • Dental surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry

    Dental surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry

    Our dentists carry out your dental surgery and/or dental treatment quickly and efficiently.
    At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional, we guarantee high quality dental treatments such as dental surgery (dental implants, sinus lift) or cosmetic dentistry treatments (dental crown, dental bridge, veneers, dentures, etc.).

  • Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma

    Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma

    Orthopedic surgery quality and prices vary from country to country and Spain combines the best of both worlds.
    The most requested health tourism orthopedic surgeries are hip replacement and knee replacement. At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional, these procedures are performed using arthroscopy and Minimally Invasive Techniques (MIS).

  • Heart Surgery

    Heart Surgery

    Our Vithas Xanit Cardiology Area is an international benchmark for heart diseases. It boasts cardiologist and specialist heart surgeon on conditions such as arrhythmia, implanting pacemakers, angioplasty, heart bypass, repair to the aortic valve and mitral valve, heart valve replacement and percutaneous mitral valve repair.

  • Obesity treatment and Bariatric Surgery

    Obesity treatment and Bariatric Surgery

    Obesity is considered to be one of Western countries’ major health issues and consequently the demand for bariatric surgery is on the up, particularly concerning gastric banding and gastric bypass
    Our surgeons have been widely trained in this area, with over 20 years’ experience in all bariatric surgeries. They are all done by laparoscopy.

  • Digestive Surgery – Gallbladder Surgery

    Digestive Surgery – Gallbladder Surgery

    The General Surgery and Digestive System Service at Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional can boast the most advanced technology and latest generation equipment for treating a wide variety of digestive pathologies such as in gallbladder. This service offers advanced laparoscopy surgery as the main way of tackling most surgical pathologies.

  • Urology – TURP

    Urology – TURP

    The Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional Urology service employs European Board of Urology-certified urologists. This unit offers patients the latest diagnosis techniques, treatments and procedures. At our International Hospital, Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is the most frequently used technique to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

  • Vascular Surgery – Phlebology

    Vascular Surgery – Phlebology

    Venous insufficiency is a chronic pathology that affects one in three adults. It is characterised by a deficient blood return in the lower limbs.
    Our International Hospital medical team has wide-ranging experience in sclerotherapy with micro-foam, varicose vein removal with endovascular laser, ambulatory phlebectomy and the C.H.I.V.A technique, among others.

  • Spinal Surgery

    Spinal Surgery

    Slipped discs and spinal stenosis usually affect the lumbar and cervical spine and the spinal surgery most requested by our international patients is laminectomy, as well as arthroplasty of the intervertebral disk and spinal fusion.

  • Ophtalmology and laser eye surgery

    Ophtalmology and laser eye surgery

    Our international hospital uses a new femtosecond laser, the most technologically advanced refractive surgery system currently available. It can correct long-sightedness and refractive defects such as short sightedness, astigmatism or hypermetropia in a single operation.
    The most popular ophthalmology surgeries among our international patients are laser eye surgery, glaucoma and cataract surgery.

  • Imaging Diagnosis

    Imaging Diagnosis

    Radiology and nuclear medicine are medical specialties that focus on the diagnosis of diseases through the interpretation of images. They provide fundamental information for the Medical Check-Up Unit. At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internationalthese two specialities are integrated into a single service in order to provide the maximum reliability and diagnostic coordination.

  • Medical check up

    Medical check up

    Evolving health concepts, greater longevity and technological developments mean that it is increasingly important to detect and make an early diagnosis on diseases and prevent them.
    Therefore, periodic health check-up is the most efficient and secure way of controlling your health.

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology – Hysterectomy

    Obstetrics and Gynecology – Hysterectomy

    Various conditions might lead to a hysterectomy or uterine ablation: uterine cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, adenomyosis.
    This surgery can be traumatising for women and so the psychology department at Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional helps women through this process.