More bad news for Iceland health tourism initiatives

iceland-flagChinese investors CSST International’s plans to pay 44m euros towards creating a health village in the southern Iceland village of Flúðir have collapsed, making it the third project of its kind to fall through in recent times.

The Flúðir project began in 2008, with a village of service buildings, 200 apartments, a rehabilitation centre and pools outlined. However, following the collapse of the country’s main banks later that year, plans were downscaled. Árni Gunnarsson, the project’s leader, is still hopeful of securing investors, but it is not proving an easy process.

Nordic Health Pro’s Reykjanesbær-based private hospital and PrimaCare’s Mosfellsbær-based private hospital are both still trying to secure funding.

Nordic Health Pro was hoping to establish a private hospital where it could fly patients in to from overseas, while PrimaCare wanted to create a hospital where medical tourists could have joint replacements. Both projects have been on hold for several years and many experts believe they may never materialise.

Smart Cities International, the Chinese contractor for the health village in Flúðir, specialises in environmentally sustainable initiatives. The company employs around 8,000 people and works closely with the Chinese government. With the number of Chinese visitors to Iceland on the up, but still only at 7,000 a year, the plan was to market the health village in China.