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Why barcelona

Health research and innovation in Catalonia

Barcelona and its metropolitan area rank number 40 out of 200 worldwide cities and metropolitan areas that stand out for its level of investigation. (https://www.natureindex.com/supplements/nature-index-2020-science-cities/tables/overall). 

Barcelona hosts big infrastructures for the development of investigation being the area of biomedical one of its most important lines. To highlight: the Sincroton of ALBA light, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center that hosts the Mare Nostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers of the World and the National Center of Genomic Analysis. These big infrastructures are a huge support to the center for biomedical investigation located in Barcelona with a very active involvement of university hospitals that host development teams with a strong international presence, especially in the areas of oncology, regenerative medicine and genetics.    

Barcelona and Catalonia are within the 10 most relevant nucleus for the development of clinic trials in Europe and within the first 20 worldwide; standing out in oncology being within the 10 most relevant worldwide and in the top 5 in Europe.

(https://www.biocat.cat/en/press-releases/barcelona-among-top-10-europe-clinical-trials).

Best Hospitals Barcelona

Several internationally renowned centers are  located in the same city of Barcelona, offering in the same location the possibility of accessing the most advanced treatments in all medical specialties, among them the hospitals associated with Barcelona International Hospitals.

Thus, together with the Agrupación Sanitaria  Hospital Clínic-Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, characterized by being one of the most internationally recognized university and research hospital groups, we find in Barcelona the Fundació Puigvert, which stands out as a European reference center in urology, nephrology and andrology, the Institut Guttmann, which is a reference for the medical-surgical treatment and comprehensive rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury, The Quiron Group is the largest network of private hospitals in Spain and groups together Quirónsalud Barcelona Hospital and Teknon Medical Center, which are at the forefront in the different fields of medicine, and are prepared for the application of highly complex medicine, with a clear vocation for comprehensive patient care, as well as Instituto Dexeus University Hospital, a reference in the specialties of gynecology, obstetrics and reproductive medicine.

Barcelona, city of international reference for specialized medical treatments

Spain is the sixth most visited country by  Europeans who choose what is known today as health tourism and occupies the eighth place worldwide. Not surprisingly, the World Health Organization places Spain in the top 10 of the medical quality lists.

In fact, according to data from the Institute for Health Development and Integration (IDIS), this year 140,000 visitors are expected to take advantage of their holidays to undergo health treatments and medical interventions in private centers in our country. A growing and continuous trend, so it is expected that in 2020 health tourism will generste about 1,000 million eurosin Spain, three times more than what was obtained in 2014, when the figures were then 322 million euros.

Barcelona, the third health tourism destination in Europe

Every year about 20,000 travelers come to Barcelona for the purpose of receiving medical treatment due to the high recognition of their clinics and specialists.

Furthermore, Barcelona has become, by its own merits, the third European tourist destination, behind London and Paris. The tourist resources that the city offers to visitors (pleasant climate, gastronomy, good infrastructures and services, world-famous monuments) are an added value to medical and hospital care.

Different studies agree that the main determining factors in choosing a medical tourism destination are:

  1. The quality of professionals, services and facilities
  2. The associated costs
  3. The cultural and social environment

Barcelona, leader in medical specialization

The Barcelona Medical Center and the  Barcelona Medical Agency have been consolidated around the hospital supply of the Catalan capital. Pioneers in Europe, they bring together Catalan clinics and hospitals of international reference, leaders in their respective specialties.

Barcelona has one of the world reference center in ophthalmology and a pioneer in medical tourism: Barraquer Center, who was the first Spanish medical center to receive recurring patients and professionals from the Middle East and Africa; they are currently receiving patients from 90 different countries. Other medical centers or groups have seen a constant increase in the number of international patients in recent years, mainly generalist groups like QuirónSalud in some of their hospitals (Teknon) or specialized centers such as the Guttman Institute (Neurology), Clínica Planas (Aesthetics), the Puigvert Foundation (Urology and Nephrology) or the Cancer Institute of Baselga.

Other even more specialized centers also receive international patients attracted by the reputation and level of doctors, such as the Lacy Surgical Institute (Digestive and Bariatric Surgery), the Iván Mañero Institute (Plastic Surgery), Quénet Torrent Institute (Oncological Surgery digestive and gynecological) or the Cugat Institute (Traumatology and sports medicine). Likewise, Barcelona receives foreign patients in different centers seeking fertility treatments (IVI, Institut Marquès, etc.).

Barcelona, second European destination for Wellness Tourism

Barcelona is also a reference destination for  Wellness Tourism, a variant of  medical tourism focused on preventive, aesthetic and relaxation treatments. Spain is the second European  destination and the fifth in the world chosen for wellness reasons, according to data from the Global Wellness Tourism Economy report prepared by the Global Wellness Institute for the Círculo Fortuny. This area grew by 15% in 2019, when 5.2 million of wellness tourists were received, with a total of 18.8 million trips and a total expense of more than 8,800 million euros. The aforementioned document also states that Barcelona is the third city in the world to enjoy this type of experience, after New York and Los Angeles, while Madrid appears in fifth position. However, Spain has a greater potential to develop wellness tourism, since according to Bloomberg, it is the healthiest country in the world and the second with the highest life expectancy.