February 13, 2019 – As Zagreb makes a concerted effort to promote its considerable medical tourism potential, a look at the leading clinics, starting with one of its superstars, Bagatin.
One of the joys of being a foreigner living full-time in Croatia is that there is always something new to learn. When I moved into my house in Jelsa back in 2002, a very jovial neighbour came round to say hi and give me a bottle of wine. It was seven years later that I realised that he was one of Croatia’s most famous winemakers, Andro Tomic. And through Andro, and especially his excellent wines, I discovered first the Hvar and then the Croatian wine story, culminating in our dedicated Total Croatia Wine portal.
And so too, almost 15 years after living in the country, I was introduced to another world of Croatian excellence about which I knew very little.
When we announced that we were starting our Total Zagreb portal, I received a message from a chap named Ognjen Bagatin, who invited me for coffee – he had been following the Total project for years apparently. We agreed to meet in his clinic on the 10th floor of Hotel Hilton Double Tree. And so began a journey of discovery which is still ongoing a couple of years later…
Living in Croatia one gets used to surly service and disinterested serving staff, and so when you encounter top-quality service from well-trained staff, you notice it immediately. Aminess Hotels in Novigrad is a prime example, just such a happy place to stay. And so too with Bagatin Clinic. Warm, polished, professional. The equipment was all cutting edge and business was brisk, but it was not his own clinic that young Bagatin wanted to discuss – he wanted to know what I knew about medical tourism in Croatia.
Embarrassingly little, it turned out, and what he showed me truly amazed me. Croatia had a Leading Hospital of the World, internationally recognised and attracting many famous sports starts for treatment (St. Catherine Specialty Hospital). It had a leading regional eye clinic with internationally acclaimed surgeons who had performed tens of thousands of successful operations at a fraction of Western prices (Svjetlost). And it had Bagatin, which I was soon to learn was much more than a standard clinic in Zagreb. I wrote my first article on the health tourism potential of Croatia – Health Tourism is Coming Home: Why Zagreb is the Next Big Medical Tourism Destination.
The topic got my attention, and the more I investigated, the more I was amazed. Here are 25 things to know about health tourism in Croatia – pretty impressive, right?
(Others are beginning to notice)
And wherever I looked, at every turn, there was that man who introduced me to the world and possibilities of medical tourism – Ognjen Bagatin. Trade shows in Los Angeles, conferences in Moscow, he was there flying the flag for Croatia and its medical tourism industry. And while some businesses compensate for a poor product (who said Zuja?) with fantastic marketing, it seemed the Bagatin product more than matched its impressive marketing. The clinic specialised in four main areas: dermatology, plastic surgery, dentistry and cosmetic treatments. Here are just a few awards and recognitions of quality:
2018 Dental Implants Award for Full Mouth Reconstruction from American platform, Dental Implants Friends. And if you want to see a real-life example of how Bagatin’s dental expertise literally changed an American’s life, while saving tens of thousands of dollars, there is no finer example than Carl’s incredible story. (see Carl below, but I really encourage you to read his story)
Each year, the Bagatin surgeons are recognised among Croatia’s best, with no less than 11 making the Najdoktor list in 2018.
In order to attract international clients, the latest equipment is essential to be competitive and to build trust for the patient. Bagatin prides itself on offering the best service possible, from initial welcome to the latest equipment.
In addition to its considerable international promotion of health tourism in Croatia, Bagatin is assisting many businesses and clinics with their professional development and communications skills via the Bagatin Academy. More than 50 quality professional trainers focus on soft skills developments in the areas of stress management, team management, communication, presentation and public speaking, top-level service, conflict management, and negotiating. Education is delivered through lectures, workshops and other training methods.
The Bagatin Academy is also a powerful networking tool, attracting as it does many of the top people from the Croatian business world, and it is a great place to organise B2B lunches and other business gatherings. The academy project has some strong official support, including the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Chamber of Physicians, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, the Croatian Pharmacy Chamber and the Croatian Chamber of Nurses. The project is supported by Resisto Educational Houses, Janus PIM and Knowledge Map, as well as the portal Moj Posao, magazine Poduzetnik, Dental Tribune and MTV UP! energy drink.
To learn more about the Bagatin Academy and its upcoming events, visit the official academy website.
As one would expect for such a successful business, Bagatin Clinic has also been recognised as a business as well as its healthcare. In 2015, Deloitte named it the fastest-growing small and medium-sized business in Croatia.
And it continues to grow…
In January, 2019, Bagatin opened its doors in Dalmatia with its first clinic in Split. You can learn more about the Split clinic here, but I defy you to find a clinic with a better view to accompany the high standard of service. The Split opening is excellent news for tourists who are contemplating combining some medical procedures with their holiday, with the savings really adding up. The arrival of Bagatin in Split is just one more piece in the jigsaw of establishing the Croatian medical tourism story.
To learn more about Bagatin, visit the official website.
To learn more about medical tourism in Croatia, follow our dedicated page.