The new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky has suggested abolishing entry visas for several countries seeking medical treatment in Ukraine, in order to boost medical tourism in the country.

The Head of State made his suggestions during a meeting dedicated to the development of medical tourism in the town of Truskavets, in the Lviv region of Ukraine.

“We can make a list of countries whose citizens often come to Ukraine for medical treatment in order to abolish visas for them and address the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [to settle this issue]. This especially concerns the countries whose nationals usually come here for treatment and rehabilitation and feel these obstacles when crossing the border,” President Zelensky said.

According to Zelensky, three times more Ukrainians travel abroad for medical treatment, compared to the number of foreigners coming to Ukraine for medical tourism. He, however, did not mention any of the countries that could benefit from the visa-free regime for medical purposes.

During the meeting, Markiyan Malsky, Chairman of the Lviv Regional State Administration said that the Lviv region is known, in particular, for its 7 balneological resorts and more than 200 mineral water sources of various types. The region has considerable potential for the development of plastic surgery, dentistry, health resort and rehabilitation treatment, ophthalmology, and reproductive health.

Ukraine last year announced that it will stop issuing visas to foreign citizens at international airports from January 1, 2019. Instead, the Ministry introduced a new extended list of nationals eligible for an e-visa, who are required to apply at least ten days prior to their trip. Among the eligible purposes of entry included in this system is also medical treatment.

Nationals of 52 world countries can travel to Ukraine visa-free under this regime, including Australia, China and Saudi Arabia.

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