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© 2013 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

Editor
Amanda Haar

Managing Editor
Megan Kennedy

Table of Contents

From the Editor

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

News in Review

Medical Tourism in 2013, Facts and Statistics

NCIA to Explore Untapped Medical Tourism Market

Malaysia Touts Medical Tourism

Thailand is the Medical Travel Hub for MTF Gender Reassignment Surgery

Medical Tourism Drawing Visitors from Around the World

Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT: Simon Hudson, Ph.D., Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, University of South Carolina

Perspectives

From Medical Travel Patient to Professional: How Personal Experience Inspired the Launch of a Business

Industry News

SpineMark Corporation and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to Develop Spinal Research Unit

Dubai Health Authority Launches Health Insurance Customer Service Portal

Global healthcare IT market estimated to reach $56.7B by 2017

International Foundation Survey Finds Confidence in Employer-Sponsored Health Care - but with Change

"Going Under the Knife"

Regulatory Harmonization Institute Launches Workshops for Algerian Ministry of Health, Programs for Emerging Markets: Forums Address Drug/Medical Device Regulatory Requirements

Upcoming Events

Global Connected Care Conference and 4th Meditour Expo

IBMS Medical Tourism Mini Conference

Wellness and Health Tourism Expo 2013

The Health Tourism Show

Africa Medical Executives & Medical Tourism Conference

Indian Medical Tourism Conference 2013

The Wellness Tourism Congress at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit

4th Medical Tourism Saint Petersburg Exhibition

Mexico: Global Summit on Medical Tourism Business

2nd Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2013

Health Tourism Expo 2013

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Global Health Voyager

THIS WEEK IN MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY

Volume 7, Issue 11

By Amanda Haar, Editor

Greetings,

This week’s issue highlights how the push for transparency continues to drive a number of aspects of medical travel.

Beginning with our SPOTLIGHT, featuring Simon Hudson, Ph.D., of the Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development at the University of South Carolina, we hear how increased transparency in pricing is influencing employer decisions to pursue domestic medical travel options.

Meanwhile on the other side of the planet, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched a health insurance portal designed to protect patient rights, and ensure transparency prior to the implementation of the mandatory health insurance for Dubai.

And there to support these efforts is the burgeoning global healthcare IT industry, which is predicted to reach a whopping $56.7 billion dollars by 2017 (see INDUSTRY NEWS).

While only time will tell what all this transparency reveals, I think it will ultimately serve to make consumers and employers more confident in their choices and, assuming we’re delivering on what’s promised, help to propel the industry forward.

As always, we welcome your comments, story ideas and press releases.

Cheers,

Amanda Haar, Editor
ahaar@cpronline.com 

Global Health Voyager

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Spotlight

Dr. Simon Hudson, Ph.D., Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, University of South Carolina

Simon Hudson, Ph.D., Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, University of South Carolina

Editor’s Note: The last time Medical Travel Today spoke to Dr. Simon Hudson, author of Domestic Medical Tourism: A Neglected Dimension of Medical Tourism Research , the domestic medical travel movement was just beginning to take hold in the US. A year-plus later, understanding and awareness of the opportunity have grown tremendously. We caught up with Dr. Hudson to get his take on what’s contributing to the acceptance and growth.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Since the last time we spoke, domestic medical tourism has gained a lot of traction. To what do you attribute that? The actions of healthcare providers? Employer understanding? Insurer adaptation?

Simon Hudson (SH): Good question. I think there’s a bit of everything at work. Before our call I was just reading a story on the front of yesterday’s New York Times about how the slower growth of healthcare cost is helping to ease the US budget deficit. Just above it was another story about the need for pricing transparency in healthcare. That one hit home with me as my wife recently had a knee operation. I was amazed that they can’t tell you the cost of the operation.

The article I mentioned cited a range of pricing for a hip replacement from one hundred hospitals that spanned $11,000 to $125,000.

One of the key reasons international medical travel took off is because you could get solid costs. People were willing to travel — and far — for a fixed price.

There’s now a recognition that we’re losing billions of dollars overseas every year for care we can provide. We’ve just woken up to the need to keep people here and be more competitive. Not just in price, but also in quality and customer service. Customer service is now a big topic of discussion, whereas in the past you never heard that term used in the hospital or care setting.

Some of the other reasons I think we’ll continue to see domestic medical travel gain traction are the aging population and healthcare reform. Reform is going to make it possible for people to get treatments they might not have otherwise sought either here or abroad. The truth is that only 25 percent of Americans have a passport. They really prefer to stay close to home if they can get their needs met at a competitive price.

Employers are also contributing to the uptick. You’ve now got employers — big employers — striking deals with hospitals and other providers. That’s brining prices down. When Wal-Mart did their deal with six centers of excellence it was all about price. That’s their thing — offering good treatment, ensuring employees are happy with the care, and being able to project costs. Not to mention happy hospitals thanks to the economy of scale.

Plus, now you have other types of care providers jumping in the mix. Fresenieus Medical Care is now offering dialysis patients the opportunity to have their treatments at any center in the states. You can go to Vegas and gamble or come to South Carolina and play golf. It offers the patients a lot of freedom and flexibility.

In the research I’m doing on traveling for medical reasons, I’m finding that “soft travel,” that is, traveling for prevention and not intervention, is also gaining some momentum. There’s a definite interest in longevity and quality of life. In theory the whole notion of people getting care before there’s a problem makes a great deal of sense. We just haven’t figured out how to motivate people to take that approach in the numbers needed to really affect healthcare costs.

MTT: How do you see healthcare providers responding, and what do you consider the essential must-do’s to achieve success?

SH: Again, I think they are realizing that they need to be more competitive, improve quality, and have more price transparency. As evidence of that, I just saw a good commercial for South Carolina Medical University in downtown Charleston. Instead of just touting the healthcare, it also spoke to all the reasons to come visit Charleston. It was really about the whole synthesized package and experience of medical travel.

I suspect we’ll see more of that in the near future. It really goes to the need for collaboration between care providers and destinations. They both need to answer the questions of how do we attract patients and be more competitive, and what can we offer families while they’re here? Healthcare travelers stay longer and spend more money on everything from lodging and food to entertainment and shopping.

In fact, the state of Missouri did a study and found that they benefitted from $124 million from out-of-state patients. We tried doing a similar study in South Carolina but couldn’t get the statistics. What we do know is that once a destination sees the potential, they’ll pay attention. The key is creating a relationship and loyalty.

In Hilton Head, for example, 70 percent of the current retirees first came to the area as tourists. Now they’ve come back with money. Plus, they volunteer and they need healthcare.

MTT: So far most of the employers engaging in domestic medical travel have been big ones. What do you think it’s going to take for the smaller employers to jump in?

SH: I think it’s a matter of recognition that you can do these kinds of deals. I think awareness and more transparency will lead employers to seek options.

We’re also seeing an increasing number of destinations collaborating with their local healthcare sector and really marketing themselves as a complete care and destination option. Las Vegas is a good example. They have a brochure that really promotes all aspects of care – where to get care, where to stay, how to get there.

Similarly, you’ve got hospitals differentiating on certain treatments. They’re actively promoting by saying “we do it best and can do it for less.” That approach will reach smaller employers, and they’ll appreciate that domestic medical travel isn’t just for the big guys.

About Dr. Simon Hudson

The endowed chair for the South Carolina Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, Dr. Hudson joined the University of South Carolina in January 2010. He has held previous academic positions at universities in Canada and England, and has worked as a visiting professor in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand, the US, and Australia.

Prior to working in academia, Dr. Hudson spent several years working in the tourism industry in Europe. He has written five books: Snow Business; Sports and Adventure Tourism; Marketing for Tourism and Hospitality: A Canadian Perspective; Tourism and Hospitality Marketing: A Global Perspective; and Golf Tourism. His next book on customer service will be published in January 2013. The marketing of tourism is the focus of his research, and, in addition to the books, he has published more than 45 journal articles from his work. Dr. Hudson is frequently invited to international tourism conferences as a keynote speaker. His personal website address is www.tourismgurus.com .

Perspectives

From Medical Travel Patient to Professional: How Personal Experience Inspired the Launch of a Business

Angela Chouaib Interview Picture

Angela Chouaib, Managing Director

Secret Surgery Grey logo1

angela before and after wls
In 2009 I had shed 140 pounds through weight loss surgery and was in need of a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, based on my need for healthcare rather than my ability to pay for it, I was placed on the National Health Service (NHS) waiting list for up to two years. Looking for an alternate route, I found myself in the same position as many other consumers: buried in medical market research and overwhelmed by the countless options available for cosmetic surgery. After taking into consideration the cost of the procedure, safety aspects and reputation of the surgeon, I flew overseas from the UK to a private hospital in Poland where I received precisely the care I needed in a safe, professional manner.

After receiving a tummy tuck, followed by a breast reduction and uplift, as well as Vaser Liposuction to reshape my thighs, I realized patients in the UK were paying astronomical fees for the same level of expertise, safety and professionalism I received in Poland for a fraction of the price.

I made it my mission to share my story with others so that they would realize that options other than long waits and exorbitant costs were available. I began to speak at various forums, groups and different mediums, allowing me to soon become an information point for other women considering their options. By speaking   truthfully  I was able to remove the stigma associated with overseas   cosmetic surgery, and dismiss the myths perpetuated by the media. It was at this time with great passion, enthusiasm and   belief, and as a result of my own journey of transformation, that Secret Surgery Ltd. was founded.

Comprised of 15 professionals—all experts in their own fields—Secret Surgery Ltd. strives to ensure that every patient has a positive medical travel experience. The company has established strong relationships with surgeons and qualified practitioners at the forefront of their professions all over Europe to ensure that optimal care is accessible to prospective patients. Our role guarantees that patients have the appropriate forms completed and sent to the proper healthcare provider, and that all pre-operative communications between the surgeon and patient are handled to make sure that a well-informed choice is being made. The patient’s well-being and satisfaction are always the ultimate goal.

Although cosmetic surgery is our core focus, we offer assistance with Bariatric surgery, hair transplants, cosmetic dentistry and orthopedics, as well. While we have facilitated other procedures based on patient requests, we prefer not to be all things to all people, but rather a focused and informed specialist in an area where my personal experience lies. I believe it’s that first-hand understanding we bring to every case that is one of the main reasons Secret Surgery Ltd. has risen to be the top-rated medical tourism facilitator on Treatment Abroad’s Review page.

In the first year of business, Secret Surgery Ltd. served approximately 50 patients with that number climbing to 150 in the second year. As a growing number of individuals learn of our services through word-of-mouth and social media, we anticipate that we will assist approximately 250 medical tourists in our third year.

Even in the face of the British media’s effort to promote UK surgeons and services, Secret Surgery Ltd. continues to grow. We’re happy to provide patients in need with safe, affordable options that allow them to move forward in their lives and improve their physical and emotional health.

Address: Green Lane, Rochester, Kent, England, ME3 0DQ
Phone number:  +44 843 289 4 982
E-mail address: Info@secretsurgery.co.uk
Website: http://www.secretsurgery.co.uk

Industry News

SpineMark Corporation and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital to Develop Spinal Research Unit

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Spinal Research Stanmore to focus on international spine research and studies 

STANMORE, London – The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), the largest musculoskeletal orthopedic hospital in the UK and a leader in the field of orthopedics and spine, and SpineMark Corporation, a US-based developer of spine centers of excellence and spine research organizations, have announced a joint agreement to develop a spine research unit within RNOH called Spinal Research Stanmore (SRS).  

Under the agreement, RNOH will provide administrative support and clinicians to meet the demands of industry and internal study goals, including recruiting patients and investigators. RNOH and SpineMark will oversee clinical trials and management of the unit. SpineMark will provide the development, marketing, governance, contracting, oversight, physician peer mentoring — provided by its medical advisory board OrbiSpine — and support for SRS, including any necessary training for new spine-dedicated clinical research coordinators and staff associated with the unit.

The short-term SRS objectives include significant research growth in the unit by supporting sponsor-initiated clinical and post-market studies, as well as the creation of SRS retrospective and prospective study groups to evaluate key trends, techniques, outcomes and diagnostic data from RNOH patients. 

"RNOH's goal is to formalize and grow its spinal research profile and accomplishments, and our partnership with SpineMark will help us advance these objectives," says Rob Hurd, CEO of RNOH. "We are looking forward to seeing the unit develop and expand throughout the year."

"RNOH has demonstrated an impressive commitment to spinal clinical research and SpineMark is pleased to serve as its partner in establishing SRS," says Marcy Rogers, president and CEO of SpineMark. "We expect our spine research model to serve as a significant and long-term driver of growth for the unit."

In addition to its partnership with RNOH, SpineMark continues to broaden its international presence, having jointly announced an agreement with Quirón Hospital Group, the largest private hospital network in Spain, the grand opening of the Quirón Torrevieja Spine Center at Quirón Torrevieja Hospital in Torrevieja, Spain. This is the first spine center of excellence in Spain, the European Union and the UK.

"The partnership with RNOH is an exciting development for SpineMark," says Rogers. "There is an ever-growing global demand for advanced spinal treatment and research, and we are looking forward to developing new relationships with sponsors and industry leaders to continue supporting this need through the creation of premier spinal research organizations with prestigious institutions like RNOH."

Industry News

Dubai Health Authority Launches Health Insurance Customer Service Portal

ipmimagazine.com — The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched the insurance partner relations opinion management e-system (iPROMeS), an electronic portal for managing suggestions, queries, feedback and complaints related to all heath insurance services provided in Dubai.

His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA, who launched the portal, said, "In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in keeping with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, the DHA is pleased to introduce this portal. The portal provides insured members with a dedicated forum to express their opinions, feedback, suggestions and complaints with regards to health insurance services in the Emirate. This is one of the important steps prior to the implementation of the mandatory health insurance for Dubai. It ensures accountability, and such regulatory practices are essential to ensure transparency, fairness and efficiency in the health insurance sector in Dubai."

Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at the DHA, said, "This is one of our key regulatory tools that is designed with an aim to reach out to the public and protect their rights because the people of Dubai are our key partners in the health system development process."

He added that the portal is a mechanism whereby insured members can lodge a complaint against an insurance company if the company refuses to cover a certain service or health test that the insured member is entitled to as part of the policy. "Besides the issue of entitlement and other health insurance related complaints, the portal also provides a platform for people to express their opinions, provide feedback and suggestions."

Insured members can log on to this system and fill out a form with the details of their health insurance policy. Once they fill out the form they will receive a notification with a ticket number via e-mail. Insured members can also use this ticket number to track their complaint.

Al Yousuf explained the functioning of the system and highlighted some important areas that the portal helps address, saying, "Insured members who have any problems with regard to entitlement of their insurance policy can lodge a complaint online. Some of the problems of entitlement are very straightforward and can be resolved quickly. However, some complaints are more complicated and resolution of such cases could take up to a maximum of a few weeks."

Regarding the abuse of an insurance card by healthcare providers, Al Yousuf explains: "If a patient feels that the healthcare facility — hospital, clinic or laboratory — is abusing the health insurance card and putting the patient through unnecessary tests or procedures, he or she is entitled to complain to us via the portal and we will look into the matter."

Al Yousuf added that feedback and suggestions are important for improving the services of the health sector. "While accountability is important, it is equally important to appreciate the work of insurance service providers."

Industry News

Global healthcare IT market estimated to reach $56.7B by 2017http://assets.fiercemarkets.com/public/newsletter/fiercehealthit/redmoney.jpg

fiercehealthit.com — The global healthcare IT market is estimated to reach $56.7 billion by 2017— up from $40.4 billion in 2012 — due to the demand for clinical information technology, administrative solutions and services, according to a new analysis by MarketsandMarkets.

To continue reading click here.

Industry News

International Foundation Survey Finds Confidence in Employer-Sponsored Health Care - but with Changes

Employees can expect changes to healthcare benefits as a result of the Affordable Care Act 

Brookfield, WI May 16, 2013 A new survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that employers’ confidence in their sponsored healthcare plans increased year-to-year, but many are planning to modify their plans due to effects from implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, the survey revealed that the vast majority of employers (90 percent) have moved beyond a “wait and see mode” and are actively developing tactics and taking steps to deal with new rules and regulations stemming from the new healthcare reform law.

The survey, 2013 Employer-Sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, shows 69 percent of employers stated they will definitely continue to provide employer-sponsored healthcare when health exchanges come online in 2014 – a 23 point increase from 2012 (46 percent). Another quarter of respondents (25 percent) stated they are very likely to continue their employer-sponsored healthcare offering.

However, findings revealed that many employers are making changes to their current benefit plans that directly affect employees and plan participants as a direct or indirect result of current and upcoming ACA regulations. Nearly one in five (18 percent) employers have already increased participants’ share of plan premiums and an additional quarter of respondents (25 percent) plan to increase the portion that employees pay for their premiums over the next year. Of those employers already planning to make changes, one in four (25 percent) are increasing their emphasis on high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with health savings accounts (HSAs,) while an additional 14 percent are assessing the feasibility of adding one.

“Employers across the country have to deal with the impact of implementing the ACA while still being able to provide competitive benefits for their employees,” said Julie Stich, research director for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. “Employees across the board can expect to see changes in how their employer-sponsored healthcare plans operate.”

Employers are also encouraging healthy behavior in employees, with one in five (19 percent) developing or expanding organized wellness programs within the last year. Additionally, 14 percent of employers adopted or expanded the use of financial incentives to encourage healthier lifestyles within the past year, with another quarter (25 percent) planning to do so in the next year.

“We are seeing trends that indicate more changes may be on the horizon. More and more organizations are losing their grandfathered status, dropping from 45 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2013,” said Stich. “Also many organizations are redesigning their plans to avoid the 2018 excise tax on high-cost or so called “Cadillac plans.” In 2011, only 1 in 10 indicated they were redesigning their plan to avoid the additional tax, but we’ve seen a steady increase over the past two years that shows the number will soon double.”

Survey participants for the 2013 survey were single employer plans (including corporations) in the database of the International Foundation and the International Social of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS). Survey responses were received from 966 human resources and benefit professionals and industry experts.  The surveyed organizations represent a wide base of US employers from nearly 20 different industries.

To download a copy of the survey 2013 Employer-Sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact visit www.ifebp.org/ACA2013 .

Industry News

“Going Under the Knife”

Millions of Americans will have surgery this year. Whether it’s the result of an emergency, an exploratory procedure or even elective, some surgical procedures are more common, depending on your age. To view a snapshot of total surgeries in the U.S., download the PDF here.

Industry News

Regulatory Harmonization Institute Launches Workshops for Algerian Ministry of Health, Programs for Emerging Markets: Forums Address Drug/Medical Device Regulatory Requirements

Newly created Algerian Agence Nationale des Products Pharmaceutiques leads drug registration and approval of pharmaceuticals, issues visas to import pharmaceutical products and medical devices for use in human medicine  

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. – The Regulatory Harmonization Institute, Inc. (RHI), an international, not-for-profit association dedicated to global harmonization of drug and medical device regulatory requirements, has been selected to present a series of educational workshops in Algiers, Algeria designed for government regulatory officials, pharmaceutical manufacturers, laboratory and health professionals, and other stakeholders in regulatory approval processes. An initial two-day program conducted in April 2013 identified topics for in-depth discussions and presentations during a week-long series of forums in June 2013.

Dean Erhardt, president of RHI and principal at D2 Pharma Consulting, says, “Activities in Algeria further extend the RHI mission: to enable more efficient delivery of high quality, safe and efficacious therapies to all patient populations by advancing global harmonization of regulatory requirements for medical products and devices intended for human use. We have also provided a positioning document for the government of Turkey, and anticipate that other emerging nations will request this level of support.”

Joseph Carabello, RHI founder and president of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, explains, “Our goal is to advance international cooperation between and among regulatory authorities and their constituent stakeholders, improving patient access to important medical products and mitigating unnecessary delays or product approvals across multiple countries. RHI is the only organization whose mission is solely focused on matters related to regulatory harmonization.”

RHI is supported by members that include government agencies, public and private companies, patient advocacy groups, not-for-profit organizations, academic professionals and other industry groups.  In addition to its educational programs, RHI also generates government and private sector support for information exchange, product development, and investment.

RHI activities focus upon:

  1. Reducing the overall cost to bring products to market, assisting in maintaining viable manufacturer margins which can be invested in ongoing research for innovative drug therapies.
  2. Reducing the drug lags from country to country, enabling unique innovator products to access new markets quicker and resulting in more innovative therapies being available to more patients.
  3. Creating a reduced timeline to get less expensive products -- generics and biosimilars -- to new markets, assisting financially strapped governments in keeping down the cost of therapies.

About Regulatory Harmonization Institute:

Regulatory Harmonization Institute, Inc. (RHI) is a non-profit association dedicated to global harmonization of regulatory requirements with a mission to influence the development and introduction of meaningful therapies to patients across the globe. RHI will advance global harmonization of regulatory requirements for medicines and devices intended for human use, enabling greater delivery of meaningful new therapies to all patient populations. Visit https://www.regharmonization.com.


Upcoming Events
Global Connected Care Conference & 4th Meditour Expo

June 5 and 6, 2013 Hyatt Regency - Orange County, CA

To learn more or register click here.


IBMS Medical Tourism Mini Conference

June 26- 27, 2013 – Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, San Juan, Puerto Rico

To learn more or to register click here.


Wellness and Health Tourism Expo 2013

July 6-7, 2013 Koramangala Indoor Stadium, Bangalore, India

To learn more or to register click here.


The Health Tourism Show



July 11-13, 2013 – London Olympia Grand Hall, London, UK

To learn more or to register click here.


Africa Medical Executives & Medical Tourism Conference

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August 28-30, 2013 - Ivory Coast, Africa

To learn more or to register click here .



Indian Medical Tourism Conference 2013

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October TBD, 2013 - Bangalore/Ahmedabad, India

To learn more or to register click here.


The Wellness Tourism Congress at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit

October 5-7, 2013 – The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India

To learn more or to register click here.



4th Medical Tourism Saint Petersburg Exhibition

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October 10-12, 2013 - Lenexpo Exhibition Complex, Saint Petersburg, Russia

To learn more or to register click here .


Mexico: Global Summit on Medical Tourism Business

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October 16-18, 2013 - Mexicali, Mexico

To learn more or to register click here.


2nd Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2013

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October 20-22, 2013 - Sunway Pyramid Convention Center, Malaysia

To learn more or to register click here.


Health Tourism Expo 2013

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December 19-22, 2013 Istanbul Expo Center, Istanbul, Turkey

To learn more or to register click here.

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.


News in Review

Medical Tourism in 2013, Facts and Statistics
Medicaltourismresourceguide.com — Currently, medical tourism is exploding worldwide, with a a number of countries now offering inexpensive healthcare. Currently the state of medical tourism is healthy, and poised to grow 30 percent annually.

NCIA to Explore Untapped Medical Tourism Market
Bernama.com.my — The Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is exploring the untapped medical tourism market in order to take the sector to greater heights.

Malaysia Touts Medical Tourism
Phnompenhpost.com — The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council’s (MHTC) senior official expects the number of Cambodian medical tourists travelling to Malaysia will be double this year after more healthcare promotions are held in the Kingdom.

Thailand is the Medical Travel Hub for MTF Gender Reassignment Surgery
Mymedholiday.com — In the medical travel world, Thailand has made a name for itself as a premier location for cosmetic/plastic surgery, fertility treatments, dental care and dermatological procedures.

Medical Tourism Drawing Visitors from Around the World
Koreaittimes.com — Over the past few years, Korea has seen its tourism industry expand by leaps and bounds. This can be largely attributed to the Korean wave, global recognition of cultural areas, and initiatives to make Korea friendlier to foreigners. However, one area that is causing immense waves is a bit unorthodox: medical tourism.

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.