Zagreb is one of the best places in the region, if not the world, for medical tourism. Here's why.
World-class medical expertise
Zagreb has the highest level of health professionals in Croatia with over 4700 doctors and 1100 dentists. They are some of the world's most educated, and most awarded, at that.
The University of Zagreb's School of Medicine has been internationally recognized for over a century now.
Zagreb is, time and time again, mong the first cities to test and implement novel practices and technology - not least of which are telemedicine, radiosurgery, and pharmacogenomics, among many others.
Croatia Airlines and several major international carriers (including British Airways, Lufthansa, Turkish Airways, Qatar Airways, and more) fly between Zagreb and cities all over Europe and the world.
Zagreb International Airport is located less than 20 kilometres from the city centre, and can be reached without a problem via taxi (for 200 kuna or less), or shuttlebus (30 kuna one-way).
You can also arrive to the city from other major European hubs via train. Zagreb's railway connectivity dates back to the days of the Orient Express, when the Croatian capital was a hotspot stop on the Paris-Venice-Istanbul line.
If you prefer buses, Zagreb is well connected with major European cities. Fun fact: Zagreb's main bus station makes an appearance in one of the James Bond movies - we'll let you find out which one.
Affordable prices that are hard to beat
With the money that you'll save in medical bills, you'll be able to pay for your trip and enjoy a full-fledged vacation in Zagreb and the region.
There's not exactly a Big Mac Index for medical tourism (yet), but we're bringing you a few numbers that point to the affordability of Zagreb in the medical field.
The 2017 Euro Health Consumer Index put Croatia "Bang-for-the-Buck" at #5 in Europe, in terms of price and quality. This high value for money is recognised by patients worldwide.
Let's look at an example; the national average cost of an MRI in the U.S. is around $1,500 (that's with insurance), while at a private clinic in Zagreb, it's around $300. A dental crown in the U.S. can go for around $500 a pop (again, with insurance), with Zagreb's top-notch clinics offering the service for a third of that price.
A safe and green city
The diversity of Zagreb and its surroundings is extremely conducive to health.
The city of Zagreb itself is covered in green spaces, including pretty parks, tree-lined boulevards, and even full-blown forests.
In fact, the city's public green areas stretch over 11million square meters. Almost a third of Zagreb is covered with forests, one of which, Tuškanac, is located right within the city centre.
There are a number of other beautiful central parks, too; for example, Zrinjevac is the perfect place for a people-watching picnic, while King Tomislav Square is great for kicking back on the grass next to a pretty fountain. A bit outside of the centre sit Jarun and Bundek, lake parks that serve as ideal green oases for sports activities, walks, or simply, relaxation.
Not to mention the city's surroundings, which are made up of farmland, rolling hills, mountain ranges, and flower-covered meadows.
As for safety, it's hard to match Zagreb. Croatia is the 26th safest country in the world per the World Peace Index, and the 8th safest country in the world for solo female travellers per Smarter Travel. The Daily Meal ranks Zagreb as the 29th safest city in the world - for comparison, Ljubljana is 32nd, Copenhagen is 27th, and Vienna 22nd.
Many clinics in Zagreb can also arrange individualised packages according to your needs.
What could be included in such a package?
It all depends on your needs and wishes. Accommodation, transport, a translator, and additional activities (from sightseeing to attending an event; use the money you're saving as you wish!), are a few examples of possible arrangements.
All that on top of expert medical care, service, treatment, and procedures, of course.