Developing Croatian Health Tourism: Irving Stackpole & Elizabeth Ziemba Zagreb Workshop

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March 4, 2019 – More international expertise is arriving to help the development of the Croatian medical tourism industry, as Bagatin Education Center announces another niche seminar.

And still they keep on coming… 

It is now about 18 months since I first discovered the huge potential of medical tourism in Croatia, writing my first article on the subject after visits to Bagatin Clinic, Svjetlost Eye Hospital and St Catherine Specialty Hospital. Those visits opened my eyes and culminated in Health Tourism is Coming Home: Why Zagreb is the Next Big Medical Tourism Destination.

Since then, the story – and the potential – has only got more interesting, and after I wrote 25 things to know about health tourism in Croatia, I realised that here was a real treasure that was largely untapped. 


I attended a couple of health tourism conferences last year to broaden my education, and I was amazed at the wealth of international speakers who were coming to Croatia to talk about health tourism. Even better for TCN, they were all very happy to speak to me about the position fo health tourism in Croatia and its potential. Keith Pollard, Editor-in-Chief of the International Medical Travel Journal; Sherene Azli, CEO of the Malasia Healthcare Travel Council; global branding expert Ilan Geva and global speaker Dr Prem Jagyasi. All in Croatia – all highly respected in their particular field.  

The conclusions were the same – Croatia has the potential to be in the world’s top ten in the medical tourism industry, if officials can unite and push the industry forward on a united front, a topic we looked at in depth, as well as the fine example of the Malaysian model to follow


It was meeting branding guru Ilan Geva that opened my eyes just a little further. For while all the medical tourism conferences are very high profile (and the next one of note is the 5th Annual Medical Tourism Conference in Zagreb on March 13-14 by Euro Events with another world-class lineup), I met Geva at a very specialised seminar on the branding of Croatia as a medical tourism destination. There were just 15 people there, all key stakeholders in the industry (myself excepted), a very intense and productive session organised by Bagatin Clinic. You can read more about it here

So while the increasing number of health tourism conferences are raising the profile of Croatia as a medical destination, there is a second level of education and institution building, which is being conducted largely off the public radar. Much of this is being organised by Bagatin Clinic, which is very aggressively (in the nicest possible sense of the world) pioneering the industry’s international profile. By bringing the key local stakeholders together and connecting them with experts such as Geva, the boutique Bagatin seminars are strengthening existing connections and forging new ones. 

And the promotion and education continues… 


Next up at the Bagatin Education Centre are two more international industry heavyweights, who are introduced by Bagatin, above, better than I could do myself – Elizabeth Ziemba, President of Medical Tourism Training, and Irving Stackpole, President of Stackpole & Associates. 

The title of the one-day seminar is Taking Cluster Development to the Next Level: Changing the Course of Medical Travel. It will be one more part of the learning process for me. Tickets are limited and can be reserved through Bagatin Clinic

For more on the Croatian health tourism story, follow our dedicated page


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