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Minister Nikola Todorov
Liberalised Healthcare Sector Welcomes Private Investors
Macedonia has ambitious plans for its healthcare sector and welcomes more international investments in healthcare facilities, equipment and services. Nikola Todorov, Minister of Health, explains that her Ministry has three main goals for the healthcare sector: boosting patient satisfaction, implementing new healthcare equipment and modern education and training programmes, and completing a full upgrade of the country’s healthcare institutions. The Ministry of Health is already overseeing massive healthcare modernisation projects, including multimillion euro investments in new healthcare equipment and technologies from European suppliers.
Macedonia has fully liberalised its healthcare sector to promote private investment and the country now has ten private hospitals. A benchmark in the private healthcare sector is Sistina Clinical Hospital, founded in 2001, which opened a new 15,000 sqm facility in 2010 which provides state-of-the-art care in a wide range of medical fields. European Eye Hospital, a branch of the Turkish Inci Göz group, is Macedonia’s first private hospital specialising in ophthalmology.
The Ministry of Health is eager to form more partnerships with international healthcare providers to bring high-quality healthcare facilities and services to Macedonia. To improve access to healthcare for Macedonians, the country has established a health insurance fund budgeted at l350 million.
Macedonia’s pharmaceuticals sector is also attracting significant investment. Nikola Todorov says, “Macedonia’s leading pharmaceuticals company is Alkaloid, which produces patented and generic drugs for the domestic market and for export. We want to develop policies on drugs which will result in benefits for consumers. We believe in quality of services, quality of drugs, and quality of education in healthcare.”
Promoting medical and dental tourism
Another investment opportunity in Macedonia is dental tourism, which has already begun to develop; because of its high quality and affordable dental services, Macedonia is attracting health tourists from London, Italy and Turkey. Now the Ministry of Health aims to promote health tourism to Macedonia from other markets, including nearby Kosovo and Greece. “We want to develop other types of services to spur on the development of health tourism, including plastic surgery and other specialised surgeries,” Nikola Todorov says.
Macedonia’s Ministry of Health is very open to new kinds of international cooperation in the healthcare sector. Nikola Todorov concludes, “We believe that Macedonia’s healthcare sector is a great opportunity for outside investment and international partnerships. Macedonia strongly supports high-quality healthcare, and if investors come here, they are sure to be satisfied.”