When we founded GetTreated in Yerevan, back in 2014, many asked what they thought to be a perfectly rational question: of all places, why Armenia? For us, the choice was quite clear: each member of our team has had a positive experience with Armenian medical professionals at one time or another and the country’s unmatched tech skills made Yerevan an ideal place to start a health-disruption tech startup. The flood of enthusiastic feedback we received from our patients helped us realise that Armenia has much more to offer patients than affordable medical solutions. Based on our patients’ preferences, here are 10 reasons why we think Armenia is a medical tourism Mecca:
1- Professional Doctors
This may seem obvious, but one of the crucial elements that a country needs in order to rank as a medical tourism destination is professional medical staff. This is one category where Armenia excels. The small Caucasus nation has a long, and proud history in medicine, with the subject being taught in the medieval Gladzor University. 12th-century physician, Mkhitar Heratsi, known as the “father of Armenian medicine” greatly contributed to the medical fields of surgery, diet, and psychotherapy.
Since then, Armenians such as Raymond Damadian, inventor of the MRI machine, Michel Ter-Pogossian, inventor of the PET scan, and Dr. Varaztad Kazanjian, father of modern plastic surgery have built impressive reputations and helped put Armenia on the map of medical innovation. In Soviet times, Armenia became a hub for medical research and development, producing countless health professionals in the process. The Yerevan State Medical University attracts medical students from around the world to this day. The country is well known for the unrivaled quality of its medical staff.
2- Top of the Line Medical Equipment
Despite its small size, Armenia has invested heavily in the purchase of next-generation medical technology, as well as the necessary training. Low import and operational costs mean that Armenian doctors are more likely to be using up to date medical equipment than their counterparts in Canada or Denmark.
This ensures that patients receive the best care currently available. In most cases, innovations in these practices allow for reduced cost, as well as minimised treatment time, allowing patients to get going with their life as fast as possible.
3- It’s Accessible from Many Destinations
Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Armenia is an ideal location for medical tourism. Yerevan is easily accessible for travellers from major cities in the region, such as Dubai, Paris, Vienna, Moscow, Doha, to name a few, which all offer affordable direct flights.
This makes it much more convenient to fly to Yerevan for a weekend operation than do see overpriced doctors at home.
4- Armenia is an Unspoiled Treasure
If Armenia’s excellent medical staff, low operational costs, and technologically advanced equipment aren’t enough to convince you, the country’s natural beauty, extensive history, and warm local culture should do the trick.
Medical travellers in Armenia are often marvelled by the country’s rugged landscape and diverse climate. Perched in the towering mountains of the Caucasian highland, the country offers breathtaking views, snow-capped peaks, rustic feel, warm and welcoming local culture, much to offer
Despite being one of the oldest countries on the planet, Armenia is also quintessentially modern, as experienced in its capital, Yerevan’s tree-lined boulevards, and eclectic architecture betraying centuries of history.
Armenia, as a centrepiece of the Caucasus, is only now being discovered by backpackers, adventure tourists, and connoisseurs of exotic traditions. It’s worth beating the crowd to explore this land’s authenticity while it’s still fresh.
Armenia is one of the safest countries in the World, in every sense of the term. Gallup’s Law and Order Index ranked Armenia as the 9th most secure country on the planet in its 2015 report, indeed far above North American and Western-European cities. Categories cited included security felt by citizens, global confidence in the police, and safety walking alone at night.
Being a small nation with a long history, Armenians have a particular bond of solidarity and respect for others. It is not uncommon for locals to go beyond the call of courtesy in order to help tourists feel more at home.
Armenia is also home to a number of local and international insurance companies, which offer very affordable health coverage for patients arriving from overseas for medical tourism.
6- There is Just so Much to Do
One thing that our guests always enjoy is the sheer amount of activities the country offers. It’s not just about the medical tourism. Explorer types can visit Armenia’s wide variety of changing landscapes, hike to hidden monasteries in the mountains, skydive, and so on while the more culturally-minded can visit Yerevan’s countless museums, or watch world-renown ballet performances at the National Opera. Night Owls can get a taste of Yerevan’s extensive nightlife, including Jazz bars, unique lounges, and clubs.
7- A Breathtaking Place to Recover from Surgery
Surgeries aren’t fun. Having to travel long distances for a surgery is even less fun. Medical tourism patients in Armenia, however, have a tendency to forget that they’re in a clinic altogether. Lounging in gardens surrounded by snowcapped peaks, breathing in fresh mountain air quite literally is ‘what the doctor ordered’ for recovering patients.
8- It’s Really Affordable
One of the main factors driving medical travel in the first place is competitive pricing. It may come as a surprise to many that for many medical procedures, it is actually more affordable, and often quicker, to get on a plane, book a hotel room, and receive world-class treatment in Armenia than to go to your local doctor.
On average, surgery costs in Armenia cost between 40 and 50% less than they would in North America or Western Europe. Low taxes, combined with reasonable labour costs makes Armenia an incredibly competitive market in the region for medical tourism while retaining its high standard for quality.
9- You Can Combine Your Medical Procedures
Armenia is already a well-established destination for dental and plastic surgery tourism, but there is way more. Since you’re already in town for a particular procedure, why not use the opportunity to combine your visit with other medical needs which you’ve been constantly putting off back home? If you’re in town for new implants, you may as well get your teeth whitened, or a cleaning.
Full checkups at bargain prices are readily available in Armenia. An average X-ray typically costs less than $50 as opposed to the $200 or more which patients fork over in the United States. This makes it really worthwhile to get every part of your body checked before your return. You can even keep the medical reports for future doctor visits. This sort of services makes it worthwhile to visit Armenia for medical tourism.
10- You’ll Forget You’re Here for Medical Tourism in the First Place
Armenia is an experience. Though some may be attracted to the quality or professionalism, others for the competitive pricing and convenience, most will forget that they’re coming for medical reasons at all once they land. The country’s unique culture, amusing paradoxes, and exotic setting will certainly pull anyone out of that clinical mood and ensure that you have plenty of stories to share once you’re back home.
You’re here to have fun, live a little!