Over the coming months and years London will need to be ‘fleet of foot’ to thrive independently from the EU. The soundest way to do this will be to push our strengths and our unique skill sets that our European competitors cannot compete with. Obviously we have our financial sector which is world-beating and the premier destination for mainland Europe to raise finance and take advantage of our sophisticated financial instruments. But over the coming weeks we will look at other lesser known sectors that are unrivalled from Berlin to Rome. One of these is situated right on our doorstep and its importance may yet surprise you.
Many people, when they think of Regent Street, think mainly of the prestige shops that line the streets from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus . The huge flagship stores from Apple and Nike and the world famous toyshop Hamleys. People seldom think that just the other side of Oxford Circus is another vast tourist goldmine earning this country millions of pounds every year. Just a few hundred yards north of Oxford Circus is Harley Street, the epicentre of the British private medical universe. Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of medical skill and specialisation which act as a magnet to London’s high-level medical tourism market. Different intermediaries, especially, medical concierge companies, help international patients to navigate the UK health system and ease the travel arrangements. Many of those offer services oriented to the wealthiest clientele.
The United Kingdom has been the destination of choice for medical tourists to whom quality of treatment comes first, and price second. Medical facilities in the UK offer many advanced treatments that are not available in other medical tourism destinations, despite the fact that the latter may be far more affordable. The UK has been seen as a premier choice for medical procedures like fertility treatment and cancer therapies and also for cosmetic surgery clinics, owing to its reliable quality of care that far exceeds its competitors elsewhere. Medical tourists typically visit cities like Manchester and London to take advantage of the first-grade healthcare facilities and their wealth of skilled practitioners. Typically medical tourists are wealthy visitors from the oil-rich Arab countries and Russian oligarchs who also spend large sums on accommodation and entertainment whilst they are visiting their doctors. Our medical tourist industry also helps finance our own NHS by using NHS facilities at market rates. This, in turn is a social benefit for all of us in London.
So, if your business is in the medical tourism sector, perhaps as a medical facilitator, you would be very wise to base your business at our virtual office since it locates you right at the heart of medical London and gives extra credibility to your company. Over the coming weeks we will be looking at various sectors that will help the uK thrive post-Brexit and make London and even more prosperous city.