Header
 Printable Version

© 2011 Medical Travel Today
Medical Travel Today is a publication of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, a public relations firm based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences, with an international clientele. CPR, its Partners, and clients are at the nexus of where medical travel is today, and where it will be tomorrow.

Publisher, Laura Carabello

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Amanda Haar

News in Review

Medical tourism in Bermuda is DOA

Special Report: Medical Tourism

A New Website Helps People Find Safe and Inexpensive Treatment Abroad

Organ Purchases Abroad on the Rise

Gloria Arroyo, former champion of medical tourism

Spotlight

Rajesh Rao, IndUShealth

Spotlight
Professor Felice Eugenio Agro, Part One
Industry News

Surgeons Taking the Leap: Dropping Insurance

Industry News

HealthAffairs Blog: A Better Way To Approach Medicare’s Impossible Task

Industry News

New Global Alliance Wellness Tourism Worldwide Launched and Issues its First Report

Industry News

Satori World Medical Appoints Geoffrey Harris to Its Strategic Advisory Board

Industry News

Las Vegas Places its Bets on Medical Tourism: Guide Details Vegas Health & Wellness Travel Options

Upcoming Events

The 3rd Annual International Medical Travel Conference

2012 Global Healthcare and Medical Tourism Conference: ‘Global Connected Care & 3rd MediTour Expo’ Slated for May 6-8, 2012

EMTC 2012 Slated for April 25-27, 2012

Hotels Bridging Healthcare Conference Announced

Privacy Policy
By subscribing to Medical Travel Today and using the website medicaltraveltoday.com, you agree to the collection and use of your personal information as described in this policy. If we make any significant changes to this policy, we will notify you by posting a notice of such changes.

We care deeply about protecting your privacy. Please send any questions you may have to our editor.

Summary

• We will never spam you or give your personal contact information to anyone without your express permission.
• You can unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

How we treat your information

We will not spam our subscribers. You will receive Medical Travel Today only, and you can choose to unsubscribe at any time. Subscribers may opt in to receive occasional messages from our partners or sponsors

We will never disclose your personal information without your permission. We will never sell, rent or share your personal information with a 3rd party, especially your email addresses, without your express permission, unless:

• You specifically request us to do so (e.g. you are having technical difficulties).
• It is required by law.
• It is necessary to maintain our system.

We will protect your information from other users. We may sell, rent or share information about user habits in aggregate only.

To unsubscribe, click here.

Global Health Voyager

THIS WEEK IN MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY
Volume 5, Issue 24

                             
by Amanda Haar, Editor

Greetings,

For the last several years it's been an ongoing challenge to find what felt like stable footing in the medical travel industry. Just how big is the industry? What are the opportunities? What are the liabilities? To whom are we selling? And on and on and around and around. These were the perennial questions. And while all the answers aren't clear, it seems that the fog has lifted a bit and a clearer landscape is coming into view.

Examples of this are evident in stories such as Surgeons Taking the Leap: Dropping Insurance (see INDUSTRY NEWS) and in the from-the-trenches interview with Rajesh Rao of IndUSHealth.  Both are examples of how clarity of vision has allowed these businesses to adjust their strategies and proceed with confidence — and success — in the industry.
That's not to say that all the questions have been answered. Far from it — see A Better Way To Approach Medicare’s Impossible Task for proof of that. But we're making progress, which is far better than the fumbling in the dark of just a few years back.
Do you have a story of clarity and success you'd like to share? As always, we welcome story ideas, press releases, and comments.

Cheers,

Amanda Haar, Editor

ahaar@cpronline.com 

Introducing Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

Medical Travel Today — the authoritative newsletter for the worldwide medical travel industry — is pleased to announce publication of a new book, "Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making." Featuring 40 of the newsletter's most compelling interviews from the first five years of publication, the volume chronicles the explosive growth of international medical tourism as witnessed and experienced by some of the key stakeholders and players. A must-read for anyone interested or involved in the industry.
Log onto Facebook and join the  Medical Travel Today Group. Look for recent news, trends, and post discussions in the board. If you would like to see something in Medical Travel Today let us know in the discussion board. If you have a question, post it there!

You can also follow Medical Travel Today on Twitter. For more information log ontowww.medicaltraveltoday.com

Spotlight

Rajesh Rao, IndUShealth

Editor's Note: Based in Raleigh, NC, IndUShealth recently released a patient experience study. Using data gathered over the past five years, the study highlights key aspects of the care experience and the motivations of American retail and corporate
patients that the company has coordinated care for at a network of hospitals in India.

Company founder and CEO Rajesh Rao spoke to us about the study, as well as how the nature of IndUShealth's business has evolved over the past five years.

Medical Travel Today (MTT):  Let's start with some background on the study. When was it conducted and what was the purpose?

Rahesh Rao (RR): The study includes data collected on patients over a five-year period beginning January 2006 and running through January 2011. For every patient included we had a full 12 months of data. If we didn't have that complete set of data, either because they had traveled less than a year ago for care or we simply lost touch with the patient after a period of time, we removed them from the set. Beyond that, the data represents every patient experience we've handled in that time period.

Initially we collected the data simply for our own edification and as a means to learn from and improve on what we were doing. But now, as we service more corporate accounts, it's data we are being asked to provide. It's becoming very important to the prospect decision-making process, and it certainly serves to help stimulate conversations that go beyond the surface of medical travel.

MTT: How many hospitals are reflected in the data?

RR: Thus far, we have worked with three hospital networks with most procedures taking place at six principal locations. Now, that may not sound like a lot for a company that's been around as long as we have, but we’ve always favored quality over quantity when it comes to patient care. By working with a select set of hospitals, we have stronger relationships with the facilities and providers, and thus better assurance of medical outcomes and patient experience. From the beginning, and still today, we feel it's very important not to overreach.

That being said, we are just beginning to work with providers in Costa Rica. Our first patients will be going there in November. The motivation there is that one of our long-standing clients, a large employer group, has a few plant locations with almost 30 percent Hispanic population. We're finding that for a segment of this largely blue-collar population, the option to travel to India for high quality care remains a tough sell with the culture and language barriers of India. We believe a solid Costa Rican option could answer the need.

MTT: Do the hospitals you work with all have dedicated international patient departments?

RR: They do. In fact, that was one of our criteria in choosing to work with them.  We need to know that they had experience and could provide a level of service that either matches or exceeds the US hospital experience. Facilities with dedicated departments in-house are much better equipped to deliver that level of satisfaction

MTT: For those facilities, is IndUShealth their principal facilitation partner or do they work with other companies?

RR: They all work with other companies; we have no exclusive relationships.

MTT: You mentioned you now service more corporate accounts. Can you elaborate on that shift?

RR: Certainly.

We began in 2005 with the goal of serving the corporate market, but recognized that the only way to gain experience was to begin by serving the retail market.  It provided us a way to build the required relationships, work out the various processes, technology, and so forth.

Around 2007, when self-insured companies started to view medical travel as a serious option, we shifted our marketing emphasis from retail to corporate.

The retail market remains interesting, but there's a lot of competition…a lot of different options, and it's so much more fragmented. Plus, it's definitely more expensive to recruit individual patients and, ultimately, the margins are smaller than on the corporate side.

Today we have roughly 65,000 engaged subscribers in our pool and that number is growing. It's the model we wanted from the beginning. We just had to wait for the market to catch up.

Part Two of this interview will appear in Issue 25.

About Rajesh Rao

With more than 20 years of experience in the creation and growth of successful entrepreneurial businesses, Rajesh Rao provides IndUShealth a critical combination of operational, financial, and systems management skills. 

Mr. Rao began his career as a software engineer at IBM, later joining the founding team at Post Software International, where he ultimately became Director of Research and Development. Post Software became an established worldwide leader in retail systems automation and was acquired by Fujitsu ICL. 

Subsequently, Mr. Rao co-founded and served as CEO of Empower Corporation, an innovative enterprise e-learning software company that served several large multinational companies. Empower eventually became MindLever, which was acquired by Centra Software (Nasdaq: CTRA). Mr. Rao continued as General Manager at Centra prior to co-founding IndUShealth. 

Having faced ever-increasing costs of providing health benefits to employees in his previous companies, Mr. Rao decided to dedicate his time and resources to the pursuit of viable alternatives. He believed that the leveling of the global playing field would result in effective cross-border solutions with the potential to substantially reduce healthcare expenditures. 

As Co-Founder and CEO, Mr. Rao has been instrumental in building IndUShealth into a dominant player in the US that has helped the "medical tourism" trend mature and evolve to an entirely new level.  He enjoys being able to innovate and work with others to further expand IndUShealth's offerings and broaden its scope of influence. 

Mr. Rao is recognized as an industry leader and is often asked to speak to audiences at meetings and conferences. He has been featured in several news articles, as well as in TV and radio interviews. 

In June 2006, Mr. Rao appeared as an expert witness before the US Senate Subcommittee on Aging, extolling the advantages of employer-sponsored medical travel, and sparking a national debate over insurers' and corporations' roles in medical tourism.  He was also invited to speak at a National Academies seminar that explored the potential role of medical tourism in providing a suitable alternative to Americans. 

He holds Bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from North Carolina State University.

Spotlight

Professor Felice Eugenio Agro, Part OneProfessor Felice Eugenio Agro, Chief of Health Strategy & Business Development, The University Hospital Campus Bio – Medico of Rome

Medical Travel Today (MTT): What is your professional background and involvement in medical travel?

Professor Felice Eugenio Agro (FA): The University Hospital Campus Bio – Medico of Rome is a general teaching hospital that provides excellent quality care. The hospital includes outpatient and day surgery departments, in-patient wards, and a Health Centre for the Elderly. In addition, we have a radiotherapy center and an out-patient clinic.  As our motto states, "Taking care of people means more than just treating them." In the area of medical travel, we pay special attention, developing personal relationships with our international patients and family through a referring physician who coordinates consultations between several specialists.

MTT: How long has Campus Bio-Medico University been involved in medical travel?

FA: Campus Bio-Medico University has been involved in medical travel since 2007, when the University moved to its new headquarters on a large campus. Moreover, in 2009 the General Directorate of the Hospital instituted a specific department of Medical Business Strategy, Health Strategy & Business Development Department (HSBDD). As chief of this department, I believe in medical travel and in its development because it allows us to go beyond healthcare-defined patterns.

MTT: Where do your patients come from and what types of treatment are they seeking?
FA: Most of our foreign patients come to us from European countries and the United Arab Emirates. Orthopedics & Traumatology (knee, shoulder, spine surgery), gynecology, surgical oncology, reconstructive and plastic surgery tend to be the most sought after care areas.

MTT: What is your strategy for attracting additional medical travel patients?

FA: The biggest thing we're doing is developing a network of international medical travel operators, companies, hotel groups and healthcare providers, including private clinics and research centers specializing in medical technology.   We're also collaborating on a scientific level with universities and research centers in the United States, Europe and the Far East. We believe these efforts will raise awareness for our services and help drive more patients to us for care.

Part Two of this interview will appear in Issue 25.

About Professor Felice Eugenio Agro
Professor Agro is Chairman of Postgraduate School of Anesthesia and Intensive Care and Chief of the Health Strategy and Business Development Department at the University School of Medicine Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. Professor Agro has traveled abroad to visit numerous institutions actively engaged in medical travel and is working to apply the best practices to his organization.  He is eager to explore cooperative and beneficial relationships with others engaged in providing quality medical travel experiences to consumers. He can be reached through his Assistant Dr. Alessia Pellegrino at a.pellegrino@unicampus.it


Industry News

Surgeons Taking the Leap: Dropping Insurance
Generalsurgerynews.com— Kevin Petersen, MD, a private practice surgeon in Las Vegas, grew more frustrated each year. And like many general surgeons, the things that frustrated him about his practice had little to do with performing surgery.

He became most frustrated when trying to get reimbursed by Medicare for a patient on whom he had operated and whose surgery had been preapproved by the insurance company. Dr. Petersen dedicated increasing hours to wrangling with insurance companies and Medicare. His clinical decisions sometimes sparked long disagreements with payers. His office costs soared as he took on staff to deal with the bureaucracy of third-party payers. Meanwhile, almost every year, he faced another threat of cuts in reimbursement.

To continue reading click here.

Industry News

HealthAffairs Blog: A Better Way To Approach Medicare’s Impossible Task

By Thomas Saving and John Goodman

healthaffairs.org—As Congress faces mounting pressure to rein in Medicare spending, two sides seem to be squaring off. The don’t-touch-a-thing-other-than-squeezing-provider-fees position seems to appeal to mainly Democrats, while eat-your-spinach reforms, including more cost sharing and higher premiums, seem to appeal mainly to Republicans. Neither position is very appealing to voters -- nor should they be.
Is there a third way? Is there a way to get the job done and appeal to voters – young and old – at the same time? We think there is. To see how it might work, we first have to understand that what Medicare is currently trying to do is virtually impossible.

Consider that Medicare has a list of about 7,500 separate tasks that it pays physicians to perform. For each task there is a price that varies by location and other factors. Of the 800,000 practicing physicians in this country, not all are in Medicare and no doctor will be a candidate to perform every task on Medicare’s list.

To continue reading click here.

Industry News

New Global Alliance Wellness Tourism Worldwide Launched and Issues its First Report



Wellness Tourism Worldwide is a new international trade alliance comprised of wellness and tourism related businesses, organizations and institutions based on the domains of well-being and Quality of Life (QoL). WTW is the first global alliance considering all forms of wellness and well-being products and services from wellness hotels to spas and corporate/workplace wellness to holistic and spiritual approaches and services.

To learn more visit: www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com 

In addition to its launch, WTW is proud to announce that its first global report: The  4WR: Wellness for Whom, Where and What? Wellness Travel 2020.

Presenting the biggest opportunities in wellness tourism—including international and domestic travel— over the next 10 years, the report is available for free downloading at: http://www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com/reports.html

Based on collected information from 140 visionaries representing stakeholders from wellness, tourism, spa and healthcare industries in over 50 countries worldwide, 4WR illustrates why wellness tourism is one of the fastest growing forms of international and domestic tourism.

Key findings of the 4WR Full Report will help developers, managers, policy makers and others vested in wellness tourism build on or develop individual competitive advantages and, just as important, avoid costly common mistakes by answering questions such as: 

 - Which wellness tourism products and services will become popular over the next 10
years by the following geographical regions: Northern-, Western-, Southern-, Central
& Eastern Europe; North-, West-, South-, Central America; Africa; Middle-East; South
East Asia; Far East; Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific?

 - Which wellness tourism products and services will decline in the next 10 years by the
following geographical regions: Northern-, Western-, Southern-, Central & Eastern
Europe; North-, West-, South-, Central America; Africa; Middle-East; South East Asia;
Far East; Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific?

 - Which wellness tourism products and services are not well known, yet still present an
opportunity for market growth? 

 - What are the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities for developers, policy
makers and operators?  

 - What are the key recommendations for industry and organizations facing a dilemma
regarding their underutilized, low-performing services?

 - What are the market segments’ (out of men, Gen Y, families, singles) 10 most utilized
wellness tourism products and services?

 - What are the four types of funding for wellness tourism?

Country Best Practice: Hungary

To download 4WR Full Report, click here.

Industry News

Satori World Medical Appoints Geoffrey Harris to Its Strategic Advisory Board

Harris to provide insight and strategic direction to Satori World Medical

San Diego, CA, November 18, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Satori World Medical, a leading medical travel company, has appointed Geoffrey Harris to serve on its Strategic Advisory Board. Satori’s Strategic Advisory Board assists the company’s Board of Directors and senior management team in the design of Satori World Medical’s forward-looking strategy and tactics.

Geoffrey Harris currently holds the position of Managing Director and Co-head of Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. is a leading global financial services firm.

Mr. Harris most recently served as Managing Director at Gleacher & Co. where he focused on the healthcare industry assisting companies with capital raising and M&A. Prior to Gleacher & Co., Mr. Harris was a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at Jefferies Asset Management and at Sirios Capital Management. Earlier, Mr. Harris was the Global Head of Healthcare Research at UBS Warburg. Mr. Harris holds a B.A. in Economics from Oberlin College and an M.S. in Management from the Sloane School of Management at MIT.

Satori World Medical provides access to its global network of board-certified doctors and worldwide centers of excellence through a high-quality integrated program, which is easily added to any health plan, reducing the costs of surgical procedures by an average of 40-80 percent when compared to the same procedures performed in a US hospital. Its business model is specifically designed to deliver high-quality healthcare services, share the tremendous cost savings with plan sponsors and their employees and to coordinate all medical and travel services for individuals who need care.

Satori World Medical has done extensive due diligence on hospitals and physicians to find the best the world has to offer. Its network features hospitals that meet or exceed US standards of care and are accredited and monitored regularly by Satori on the quality of care delivered.

 

Industry News

Las Vegas Places its Bets on Medical Tourism: Guide Details Vegas Health & Wellness Travel Options

travelmarketreport.com—The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has produced a 176-page Las Vegas Health and Wellness Destination Guide, in cooperation with the Medical Tourism Association. The guide contains information on medical and dental treatments, cosmetic procedures, corporate wellness programs and retirement living in Las Vegas and southern Nevada. Also included are a directory of medical facilities and travel information.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, in her introduction to the guide, stated that the recent opening of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health “has put [Las Vegas] on the map as a premier medical travel destination.”

To continue reading click here.

 

Upcoming Events

The 3rd Annual International Medical Travel Conference

 

The 3rd Annual International Medical Travel Conference will be held on April 23rd-25th 2012. This year’s host hotel will be the beautiful five-star Inter-Continental Hotel located in Escazu, just outside San Jose, Costa Rica.

This Medical Travel Conference in Costa Rica offers an excellent opportunity for insurance company executives, employee benefit managers, health underwriters, insurance agents, third-party administrators, and anyone interested in medical or dental travel to experience first hand what the hospitals, dental clinics and physicians of Costa Rica and other Latin American countries have to offer. The past conferences have developed many new business opportunities with foreign buyers searching for quality dental and medical care at affordable prices.

The International Medical Travel Conference is sponsored by The Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED) and the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT). Massimo Manzi, Executive Director of PROMED, stated, “Costa Rica is proud to host the 3rd International Medical Travel Conference, and this event has grown every year. We expect more than 500 people to attend this year and we have upgraded the location using the five star Inter-Continental Hotel.”

“If you’re considering Medical Tourism for yourself, your company or your clients, the Medical Travel Conference in Costa Rica is the only Medical Tourism conference you need to attend,” said Tim Morales of Costa Rican Medical Tourism. “After the short flight to Costa Rica, you will visit the hospitals and dental clinics and meet the dentists, doctors and their staffs. You need to see, feel and touch the quality of care Costa Rica offers for yourself. This is something you cannot experience in a convention hall in the states.”

There is special early bird pricing for the first 20 people who sign up for this event. This savings opportunity is limited, and early enrollment is encouraged.


2012 Global Healthcare and Medical Tourism Conference: ‘Global Connected Care & 3rd MediTour Expo’ Slated for May 6-8, 2012

MediTour Expo announced its 2012 Global Healthcare and Medical Tourism Conference: “Global Connected Care & 3rd MediTour Expo,” will be held May 6-8, 2012, at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

This two-day conference will feature specialized topics on the globalization of healthcare. Leading technology and healthcare professionals will come together to present and discuss new global healthcare strategies, the latest trends in telemedicine and technology applications as well as insurance and quality issues. The conference will showcase presentations by some of global healthcare’s most influential leaders including Dr. Jay Sanders, M.D., FACP, FACAAI, president and CEO of the Global Telemedicine Group, adjunct professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and founding board member and president emeritus of the American Telemedicine Association.  Expecting to draw delegates from all around the world, this event is a must for those looking to increase contacts in the international healthcare industry.

The conference will also offer exhibit halls, discussion panels and workshops and numerous networking opportunities throughout.

According to Ian Jacobs, CEO of MediTour Expo and Arlen Meyers, M.D., MBA, president of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, this conference will provide education, business opportunities and a networking forum for the global healthcare and medical tourism Industry while identifying and removing barriers to adoption and diffusion. 

Below are some of the event’s highlights:

  • Global Physician Referral Networks and Patient Care — How to Build a Global Practice 
  • Self-Funded Insurance Groups -- Providing Healthcare Travel Alternatives
  • M-health, Telemedicine and Electronic Healthcare Information Platforms
  • Business Processes and Advanced Global Healthcare Marketing Strategies  
  • Integrating Global Healthcare Technologies with Medical Travel   
  • Legal Issues in Global Care
  • Workshops in Global Practice Management, Insurance Reimbursement & Payment, Business Processes, and Legal & Regulatory issues in Global Care
  • Private meeting rooms for business meetings

For information and registration, visit http://meditourexpo.net. For sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, email: Joanne@meditourexpo.net.


Hotels Bridging Healthcare Conference Announced

Registration is now open for June 2012 Hotels Bridging Healthcare conference

Registration is now open for Hotels Bridging Healthcare (H2H), a conference on hotel, wellness and medical tourism entrepreneurship designed to provide an overview of medical tourism today and the future and concept of H2H with wellness spas.

Organized by co-chairs Ali Poorani and Frederick DeMicco of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the University of Delaware, the conference will focus on the development, operation and branding of medical tourism services developed between hotels, resorts and medical facilities.

The conference will be held Saturday, June 16, through Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz Wellbeing and Medical Health Center in Switzerland. Participants can register online using the conference website. 

Other agenda items include panel presentations and discussions on the operational model of Bad Ragaz, the branding of cities and towns for medical tourism, financial and investment issues, potential infrastructure and legal issues and the impact on doctor/patient communication.

Max Koppel, M.D., clinical associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, has collaborated with Poorani and DeMicco and will preside as the H2H conference medical advisor.

According to Koppel, “the conference will advance the international availability of the highest quality care with fewer bureaucratic barriers. The conference will also focus on patient dignity, safety and expanded freedom of choice through the hospitality concept,” said Koppel.

The conference is sponsored by Hospitality Associates for Research and Training (HART); the University of Delaware; the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management; and the College of Health Sciences.

Situations Wanted


Win a free copy of Patients Beyond Borders, Second Edition

In honor of our fifth year of publishing, Medical Travel Today will be giving away copies of Patients Beyond Borders, Second Edition, the best-selling consumer reference guide to international medical travel, with more than 100,000 copies in print, to all contributors and interviewees throughout the year. In addition, we'll be giving a copy to one lucky subscriber with each issue we publish. To earn your chance to win, email our editor with "book drawing" in the subject line.

Congrats to this
issue's winner:

Trish Freeman, Freeman Insurance Services


News in Review

Shetty hospital land deal finalized 

compasscayman.com —The Shetty hospital developers have finalized their initial purchase of land in East End and intend to apply for a mixed-use planned area development for the site. 

Gene Thompson, the local partner in the project to build a 2,000-bed medical tourism hospital, said late last week that the purchase of land for the hospital in High Rock from Joseph Imparato, who will be a co-developer in the project, had been finalized. 

Medical tourism in Bermuda is DOA

royalgazette.com— …At this stage, it is unclear how Bermuda can offer any comparable advantage in the field of medical tourism. As a result it would not appear to offer a viable opportunity for the investment of capital or time in pursuing it further. More focus should be directed towards alternate product offerings such as casinos and short-term retreat packages that help alleviate the seasonality drag that the island suffers from. 
To read the complete story click here.

Special Report: Medical Tourism
Wjhg.com—With skyrocketing healthcare costs a major concern, many people are finding they can save money on medical and dental procedures by hitting the road. But how far would you go to save as much as 80% off of the cost of surgery? A new group of tourists are packing their suitcases and heading to other countries, not for the travel but for non-emergency medical and dental procedures. Why? It's all about money.

A New Website Helps People Find Safe and Inexpensive Treatment Abroad

Health Traveler is a website dedicated to making medical tourism and treatment abroad more easily accessible to Americans, thereby saving individuals thousands of dollars in medical costs….Through Health Traveler, we are enabling users around the world to easily find all information related to medical tourism.

Organ Purchases Abroad on the Rise

Ahora.cu—Confronted with a long waiting list of patients requiring organ transplants, more Americans are ready to travel abroad to purchase a liver, a kidney or even a heart.

We are talking about "transplant tourism," an increasingly popular practice, but at the same time, extremely dangerous. In 1984, the United States administration imposed a ban on the purchase and sale of human organs, but not on "transplant tourism", the practice whereby a person travels abroad specifically to receive a vital organ in exchange for a sum of money which covers the price of such an organ.

Gloria Arroyo, former champion of medical tourism
  
When she was President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave the medical tourism industry her full backing and invited foreigners to come to the Philippines for health and wellness services with the warm touch of Filipino hospitality.

Today, Mrs. Arroyo is waging wars in courts and in the news media so that she can be allowed to travel to several countries to seek the medical care she claims cannot be had even at St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig -- one among a few Philippine hospitals with international accreditation -- where she is confined and held under court-approved hospital arrest.


Editor’s Note: The information in Medical Travel Today is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment.  The newsletter’s providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of the information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused – directly or indirectly – by or from the information.  All information should be considered a supplement to – and not a substitute for – the care provided by a licensed healthcare provider or other appropriate expert.  The appearance of advertising in this newsletter should in no way be interpreted as a product or service endorsement by the newsletter’s providers.