In 2008 approximately 100,000 foreigners benefited from services offered by 118 private clinics currently operating in Tunisia, spending a total of nearly 40 million Euros, Ansamed website reports. Sector experts believe that these figures should be higher by the end of the year. The greatest number of patients comes from Libya (the flow increased following the imposition of UN sanctions on the country) and most of the others also come from Africa to be treated for heart, bone and trauma problems. The other two sectors served by the clinics (tourist health, aesthetics) are especially appreciated by westerners. Tourist health offers, aside from a seaside vacation, the chance to undergo sessions of dialysis, thalassotherapy, dental fittings, ophthalmology and even more.
Last year, the clinics which offer aesthetic treatments hosted some 5,000 patients, 20% more than the previous year. Patients are attracted, aside from the professionalism of the local staff, by the price comparison with Europe. For the sake of example, an open heart surgery will cost 4,000 Euros in Tunisia, a face lift 3,000 Euros compared to 5,000 in European clinics. Specific rules are being studied to better manage the sector, which is also structuring itself into small health cities, and as a result the ministry of Health will set up an office for the private health sector, while an independent public body will supervise the clinics. There are also plans for the opening of an agency specialized in the promotion of investments and in the export of services, added Ansamed.