Health minister sees potential for cooperation between Latvia and UAE in health tourism and medical education

  • 2024-03-21
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Health Minister Hosams Abu Meri (New Unity) today met with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Latvia Hanan Khalfan AlAlili to discuss cooperation in the health sector and the draft inter-ministerial agreement on developing bilateral cooperation in the field of health and medical science, the Health Ministry of Health informed LETA.

The UAE has previously shown particular interest in attracting Latvian health personnel to work in the UAE and in cooperation in the field of medical preparations and pharmaceuticals. Latvia, in turn, is interested in the development of health tourism, offering UAE patients healthcare services in Latvian medical institutions.

In 2022, Latvia served 55 UAE patients and the revenue from UAE patients reached EUR 224,601. This is the ninth highest figure among patients from different countries.

During the meeting, the UAE ambassador also highlighted the potential for cooperation in both health tourism and medical education.

A draft cooperation agreement is currently being prepared, which would provide for the education of health personnel, training and retraining of research and education personnel on the basis of mutually agreed qualification requirements, exchange of health professionals through direct cooperation between medical educational institutions, centers and other related institutions, joint medical research projects in line with the health needs of the population; coordination and cooperation in the field of disease control.

As reported, on March 19 the government adopted a plan for the development of health tourism in Latvia, which aims to increase both the number of foreign face-to-face health tourists and the annual revenues of medical institutions.

The plan is to increase the annual income of medical institutions from health tourists to EUR 15 million over the next few years and to increase the number of foreign face-to-face health tourists by 20 percent.