Printable Version

© 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.

Laura Carabello

Laura Carabello

Managing Editor
Megan Kennedy

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Laura Carabello

News in Review

VA May Pick Up More Medical Travel Costs

The Top Four Medical Travel Hotspots for Cosmetic Surgery

India to Remain on Top in Medical Tourism: Top Expert

Developments in Medical Tourism in the Caribbean

Spain Places Emphasis on Health Tourism

Medical-tourism, EB-5 Initiatives Near Launch

Malaysia Competes in Medical Tourism


SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Kevin Huffman, Medical Travel Associates

Industry News

Rising Numbers in Outbound Medical Tourism

Providing International Care

SmartCare Worldwide Responds to Consequences of Healthcare Reform with Medical Travel Solutions

Report, “U.S. Vacationers: Happiness, Health & Productivity – An Essential Report for Travel, Hospitality & Wellness Industries” Released by Wellness Tourism Worldwide

DotHealth, LLC Passes ICANN’s Initial Evaluation for the .HEALTH New Top Level Domain

Former Bumrungrad International Management Team Form Intermedika Consulting Ltd.

Global Blood Industry to Reach $28.8 Billion in 2017

Upcoming Events

IBMS Medical Tourism Mini Conference

Wellness and Health Tourism Expo 2013

The Health Tourism Show

Africa Medical Executives & Medical Tourism Conference

Global Connected Care Conference and 4th Meditour Expo

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


Volume 7, Issue 13

Dear Colleagues:

Credibility and the development of standards are key factors for optimizing the success of the medical travel industry, both domestic and international. While there are divergent perspectives on this issue, readers will find our SPOTLIGHT interview featuring Kevin Huffman, M.D., offers concrete suggestions.

Please be in touch and let me know how you are surviving and thriving in this emerging marketplace.

Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher
Medical Travel Today

Global Health Voyager

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!

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Dr. Kevin Huffman, Medical Travel Associates

Dr. Kevin Huffman, Medical Travel Associates

About Dr. Kevin Huffman
Dr. Huffman travels extensively throughout the U.S., educating patients, physicians, surgeons, hospitals, insurers, employers and policy makers about the safety and value of medical/surgical travel (medical tourism).

His expertise is in developing and delivering Continuing Medical Education programs for referring physicians, to educate and engage them in order to help reduce peri-operative and travel risk, improve patient outcomes, and increase patient referrals to both domestic and international surgical centers.

By working with these referring physicians, destination surgeons and hospitals, Dr. Huffman is building a network of educated and engaged physicians who will become the leaders of medical/surgical travel healthcare so that collectively they can set and maintain high medical standards for this emerging field.

Contact Information
Cell Phone: 440-610-2030
E-mail: drkhuffman@earthlink.net

Medical Travel Today (MTT): How do you see the domestic medical travel market as opposed to the international medical travel market? Is there any particular difference that you see in terms of getting a referral from a physician in the U.S. vs. getting one overseas?

Kevin Huffman (KH): There is a two-tier structure here—one level of apprehension is certainly connected to domestic medical travel, but then there is a significantly higher level of trepidation involved with international medical travel.

With any form of travel, there are potential hurdles. That being said, there is inevitably less concern when a doctor from Nashville, Tenn., for example, has a patient who is employed through Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart now has a contract with the Cleveland Clinic to provide cardiac surgical care nationally, so the patient will simply receive treatment accessible through the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, which is a familiar process.

If that patient instead receives treatment abroad, in India, for example, even though the level of care produces the same outcomes at a lower cost, there is going to be increased apprehension involved due to a lack of familiarity with international doctors, surgeons and institutions. In order to ease levels of anxiety regarding treatment overseas, referring physicians need to establish relationships with participating doctors globally in order to feel the same level of comfort when referring a patient for treatment internationally.

MTT: How about the transfer of Electronic Health Records (EHR)? Do you notice any challenge transferring records domestically? Do you find more of the EHR being utilized in the U.S. vs. abroad?

KH: I believe the EHR is utilized more in the U.S. rather than internationally. At this point there are a number of major companies that offer platforms for physicians, surgeons and patients to access their records, but the key to opening up the U.S. market is that primary care physicians (PCPs) need to be able to go on their laptop or mobile device and pull up operative reports, discharge summaries and discharge orders. Likewise, the cooperating surgeon overseas needs to have access to the same platform and access information regarding the patient’s pre-operative and post-operative care in order to open up the international market.

MTT: How about the concierge medical doctors? Do you find them more amenable to medical travel aftercare?

KH: Yes, partly because concierge doctors are already thinking outside of the box of conventional medicine. My area of expertise is in bariatric surgery and/or weight loss, so I have been able to connect with doctors I have previously worked with and network them with our domestic bariatric surgical cases. The concierge physicians are definitely more likely to work with us to provide the post-operative care, making them a great target audience for medical travel purposes.

MTT: Are there any countries that you would say are comparable—not in cost—but in terms of outcomes and patient satisfaction to the U.S. doctors?

KH: A percentage of surgeons abroad are U.S.-trained, which gives referring physicians in the U.S. a little more assurance. From what I have seen through the network of physicians that I have worked with, the hospitals that have an English-speaking staff seem to gain the most referrals. I have seen an increase in travel to Mexico for bariatric surgical cases, a rise in cosmetic and dental cases traveling to Costa Rica, as well as a boost in orthopedics and cardiovascular travel to India. At this point, I don’t think one country in particular stands out as a leader. It is based more on the proper accreditations and training that individual hospitals and facilities have.

MTT: Are you involved in any other kind of area or market niche beyond bariatric surgery?

KH: Yes. My niche was bariatric until 2008, when I got involved with medical travel, and then I began developing Continuing Medical Education (CME) for physicians encompassing all surgeries—cosmetic, orthopedic, cardiovascular, and so on.

Essentially, it is all the same basic education of the PCP. The patient must be prepared pre-operatively and fit for flight. Post-operatively, the PCP must look for potential complications, whether it is a hip, gastric bypass or liposuction.

The only difference now is that we need to integrate into post-operative care specific orders, whether it is orthopedic rehab, physical rehab, cosmetic or bariatric surgery. In terms of nuances associated with peri-operative care, the standard education of the physician is generally the same across all surgical fields.

MTT: Do you find that bariatric patients are accommodated in hospitals outside or even inside the U.S. regarding the size of the wheel chairs, the MRI machines and all of the accommodative technology that is required?

KH: If a hospital in the U.S. or overseas specializes in bariatric, then adequate accommodations are generally available. However, other hospitals across the board, internationally and domestically, are otherwise failing to provide adequate bariatric accommodations to patients in terms of beds, wheelchairs, walkers and all other durable medical equipment. We are not quite where we should be.

MTT: Are there any particular centers of excellence in the U.S. that you would point to that are exemplary for bariatric surgery?

KH: There are probably 40 to 50 exceptional centers of excellence here in the U.S., ranging from the Cleveland Clinic to the Mayo Clinic. Even where I am in Florida, Celebration Hospital and Orlando Regional Hospital are excellent, as well.

It is important to keep in mind that some bariatric surgeries, particularly the adjustable lap bands, are now being carried out in outpatient centers rather than hospitals.

I have had the opportunity to familiarize myself with a lot of centers of excellence in the U.S. and internationally, and have had the pleasure of working with many surgeons worldwide, as well. I am not in any way affiliated or tied financially to these centers, granting me the ability to offer my non-biased opinion to prospective patients and physicians.

MTT: Great! Do you have any other thoughts that you would like to share?

KH: As we look at the healthcare system as it begins to change, the PCP will become the gatekeeper for the patient. If the patient decides to travel internationally for treatment, permission will need to first be granted by the PCP.

The development of the medical field in general depends on the growth of this emerging new medical travel industry and the ability to access educated and engaged PCPs.

I hope I can play a role in helping raise the credibility of medical travel, reduce post-operative risk, improve outcomes and then begin to engage physicians, employers and insurers to make referrals domestically and internationally in order to help drive down rising healthcare costs.

Industry News

Rising Numbers in Outbound Medical Tourism

by Sananda Sahoo

(thenational.ae) — Outbound medical tourism from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Europe and North America is on the rise as visitors from the UAE combine treatments with vacation plans, according to the travel industry.

This is despite travel agencies in the UAE being mandated since 2011 not to promote such tourism without authorization from destination countries.

In response to the trend, the Fairmont hotel operator has been customizing its properties in Europe and North America to include halal menus and prayer mats, as well as having Arabic-speaking sales teams.

"Over the past year, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has witnessed a growing market of tourists from the UAE and across the Middle East travelling to properties in Europe and North America for medical purposes," said Meenaz Lilani, executive director of Global Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Fairmont Raffles Hotels International in London.

Fairmont properties in Europe and those in Chicago and Boston report more guests coming from the UAE and the Arabian Gulf specifically seeking medical treatment, but figures were not available.

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, for instance, has partnered with Lans Medicum, a preventative medical examination center that helps to identify early-stage cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic illness.

According to the resort, its guests are primarily from the Middle East and Russia and are typically male and over 40 years of age.

In the U.S., medical tourism at Fairmont hotels in Boston and Chicago usually centers on women's healthcare, pediatrics and cancer care.

In Switzerland, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace reports its Middle Eastern guests seek treatment at the nearby private clinics offering routine medical exams, dental and cosmetic surgeries and anti-ageing treatments.

In the Swiss city of Lausanne, which is popular for its wellness and cosmetic surgery clinics, tourist arrivals from the UAE jumped 16 per cent in the past year to 1,388 guests.

The top three source markets for Lausanne, which this year has a tie-up with an Abu Dhabi travel agent to promote the city as a medical destination to the UAE, are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt.

Lausanne is the sixth most popular destination in Switzerland, with Geneva the leader.

Traditionally popular medical tourism destinations, such as India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, have been joined by Germany and North America, says one Dubai-based travel agency.

Last year, 100 Emiratis and expats went abroad through the travel management company Anta GlobalStar.

"That number has been rising between eight and 12 percent every year over the last three years across all destinations," said Ajay Nair, the head of corporate travel and sales for Anta GlobalStar. The Anta group partners with the London-based travel company GlobalStar in the UAE. "With the national and budget carriers expanding their routes, and this segment being seen as a lucrative opportunity for various countries within the Gulf and abroad, I do see considerable traction in outbound medical tourism rising over the next coming years.”

Every week, Mr. Nair's travel management agency gets two to three medical tourists through their insurance company and via word-of-mouth, Mr. Nair said.

At the same time, the UAE is positioning itself as an upcoming destination for medical tourists for Middle Eastern patients as well as those from the Commonwealth of Independent States, he added.

To view the original article click here .               

Industry News

Providing International Care

About Nueterra
Nueterra is the largest U.S. private-sector organization specializing in the development of joint equity partnerships with health systems, governments, hospitals and physicians. The company is one of the leading developers and managers in the U.S. of health systems, physician-owned surgical facilities, and community hospitals while providing international patient care and coordination. www.nueterra.com

About Houston Physicians’ Hospital
Houston Physicians' Hospital, a multiple Healthgrades award winner and DNV-accredited facility, sets the healthcare standard for superior patient care and satisfaction. Our ultimate goal is to provide personalized care, because all procedures are different, and so are our patients. The 49,000-square-foot facility includes a nine-bed pre-operative unit, six operating room suites, two procedure rooms, and a 15-bed post-anesthesia care unit. www.houstonphysicianshospital.com.

Houston Physicians’ Hospital has joined Nueterra Global Alliance to provide destination healthcare to global patients.

Houston is home to a three-airport system which services over seven million international travelers. Its geographic proximity to Central and South America make Houston an ideal destination for medical travelers from the region.

“We see ample growth opportunities to provide our specialty services to the Latin American population,” shared Michele Dionne, CEO, Houston Physicians’ Hospital. “As populations age their healthcare needs tend to change, requiring specialty care. Our reputation is built on specialty surgeries in orthopedic, spine, podiatry and plastic surgeries.”

The medical tourist market is sizeable and continues to gain exposure. A recent study revealed that one out of five people would definitely consider traveling abroad to seek medical or dental treatment .

“Domestic facilities are analyzing their service offerings and determining what is applicable to the global community,” shared Dan Tasset, chairman of Nueterra. “People are demanding access to quality healthcare. We are providing borderless healthcare solutions through Nueterra Global Alliance.”

David Miller, president of Nueterra Global Alliance, said, “Healthcare facilities that want to treat international patients can benefit from our relationships, processes and technology. We can market and promote the facility to international regions, providing international patients for the facility. Our network is comprised of providers who know their niche and provide superior patient experiences with excellent clinical outcomes. I am proud to have Houston Physicians’ Hospital join our network of providers. ”

Media Contact
Ted Draper, Director of Global Marketing
(913) 387-0671

Industry News

SmartCare Worldwide Responds to Consequences of Healthcare Reform with Medical Travel Solutions

SmartCare Worldwide, medical travel benefits and facilitators

(prweb.com)— SmartCare Worldwide, a Houston-based medical travel firm, has launched a number of programs in anticipation of U.S. healthcare reform and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). SmartCare’s medical travel benefits program for employers and medical travel facilitation for employees and individuals will play a key role in providing solutions for the unintended consequences of the ACA and healthcare reform.

The ACA is intended to improve Americans’ access to affordable, quality healthcare, but many economists and healthcare industry experts are skeptical and bracing for impact as some of the laws’ biggest changes to the insurance marketplace take effect in the fall of 2013.

Experts on both sides of the debate on the ACA agree that there are changes and challenges to the healthcare system that will only be met by new and innovative solutions. Professionally facilitated medical travel has been established as one such solution. SmartCare Worldwide has emerged as one of the nation’s growing forces in  medical tourism facilitation  and medical tourism benefits, recently winning the 2013 National Medical Tourism Award in Costa Rica.

One immediate impact of the ACA is a feeling of uncertainty throughout the industry and the U.S. In the three years since the ACA passed, employee benefits professionals have waited for guidance, rules and regulations on its implementation, severely limiting opportunities to change or increase benefits.

Those opportunities are available through SmartCare’s professional medical tourism facilitation and medical travel benefit program for employers. Employees and individuals can now receive medical care outside of the U.S. at a fraction of domestic rates. SmartCare also provides the medical and dental services like bariatric, cosmetics and oral surgery that aren’t covered or are only partially covered by Americans’ existing benefit plans, making  medical tourism  the most affordable solution for many patients. SmartCare can implement their employer-sponsored medical travel program in 30 days and at any point during the plan year. During a time of healthcare uncertainty, many are regarding SmartCare as a concrete solution to increasing costs and decreasing benefits, and the ideal mid-year give-back benefit for U.S. employees.

Another major impact of healthcare reform and the ACA is the addition of millions of new patients to an already overburdened healthcare system. Americans are anticipating that the wait times on voluntary and non-emergency procedures will increase dramatically. Rather than wait months to schedule a procedure or suffer from a lack of confidence in an overburdened facility and/or doctor, patients are reacting to healthcare reform by seeking the services of companies like SmartCare Worldwide, where the resources and medical professionals are capable and available – Smartcare’s  network of physicians and medical experts  was developed with the staff, resources, and capacity to schedule procedures almost immediately. The magnitude of SmartCare’s vetted network even allows patients the option of selecting from a number of dentists and physicians to find the one that meets their exact needs.

The ACA barely touches on the single largest healthcare challenge this country faces – Medicare. There will almost certainly be changes for eligible retirees and Medicare benefits. The number of physicians accepting Medicare is decreasing due to the administrative demands of accepting Medicare benefits. It’s becoming more difficult for seniors to access quality healthcare. Smartcare Worldwide provides the administration and facilitation of dental procedures and other healthcare services that Medicare doesn’t cover at a fraction of U.S. rates, making SmartCare particularly popular with seniors and retirees.

In a recent interview, SmartCare Worldwide executive Rick Huntington was asked why someone should choose SmartCare over other medical travel facilitators. Huntington replied, “We’ve contracted a network of highly-specialized healthcare providers that are experienced serving American patients. SmartCare is operated by experienced  healthcare benefits consultants and medical staff  – not travel agents. With our team’s 20+ years of experience in the individual healthcare, employee benefits and retiree benefits market, SmartCare is poised to become the nation’s leading facilitator of medical tourism.”

For more information, visit   http://www.SmartCareWorldwide.com  or call 855-762-8227.

About SmartCare Worldwide:  
SmartCare Worldwide is an innovative medical travel firm with corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas. As medical travel facilitators, SmartCare provides a wide range of flexible medical travel benefits and services for companies of all sizes, including global enterprises. Our experienced consultants work closely with clients to design and administer the most cost-effective, adaptable medical travel benefits solutions. We provide full implementation and administration of our medical travel benefits program and are committed to providing exemplary, ongoing responsiveness that assures measurable, long-term value in each client relationship.

Corporate contact: Rick Huntington, Principal SmartCare Worldwide, 855.762.8277

Industry News

Report, “U.S. Vacationers: Happiness, Health & Productivity – An Essential Report for Travel, Hospitality & Wellness Industries” Released by Wellness Tourism Worldwide

Wellness Tourism Worldwide, www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com , a leading wellness travel business, is pleased to announce the release of U.S. Vacationers: Happiness, Health & Productivity – An Essential Report for Travel, Hospitality & Wellness Industries.

One of the great challenges in the U.S. workforce is the ability for employees to take a vacation.  As Americans have increasing challenges to stay healthy, the manner in which leisure time is used is critical to well-being. 

Wellness Tourism Worldwide founder and CEO, Camille Hoheb, remarked, "Our survey respondents believe vacations are an important aspect of work/life balance – providing time for individuals, couples and friends and family to decompress, connect, explore, engage, learn, renew and transform. Wellness Tourism Worldwide’s mission is to improve well-being and economic growth through travel, and we believe in promoting travel as both a personal strategy for wellness and as an economic strategy benefiting businesses and communities.”

Offering a timely perspective on what today’s American leisure travelers seek, desire and expect during a vacation, the report focuses on the underlying psychology of U.S. vacationers and their decisions related to trip planning, purchase preferences and spending patterns. Concepts such as health vacations, wellness travel, wellness tourism, healthy hotels and digital detox are on the rise.

A culmination of consumer survey data, extensive literary research and in-depth interviews with key travel executives and thought leaders across hospitality, tourism and wellness sectors, the report is a resource used to aid in wellness promotion, travel marketing and vacation policy development. Over 60 tables and figures are contained in the report to assist with strategic planning.

The report is useful to:

  • Travel sellers, suppliers, destinations and all travel and tourism professionals
  • Associations related to health, corporate wellness, travel and hospitality
  • Health providers and wellness professionals
  • Organizations focused on workforce sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • Educational institutions offering wellness coaching and workplace wellness programs
  • Educational institutions offering travel, tourism and hospitality programs

To purchase this report, or to request the executive summary, go to www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com.

About Wellness Tourism Worldwide

Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW) isa leading wellness travel businessproviding research, education and promotion of wellness travel and tourism products. With three distinct platforms, Wellness Tourism Worldwide is aimed at the “larger picture” of stakeholder participation, Selling Wellness Travel focuses on providing education and promotion to travel sellers and suppliers, and the “Wellness Travel Journal – Travel Happy. Travel Well” brand connects consumers with wellness travel businesses. Our WTW team includes experts in healthcare and tourism who are responsible for research, global branding, spa operations, hotel management, hospital administration and healthcare marketing. Among us, we speak English, Turkish, Arabic, French, Chinese and Malaysian. Together, our mission is to “improve well-being and economic growth through travel.”

Website: www.wellnessstourismworldwide.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wellnesstourismworldwide.com
Twitter: @wtwtweets

Media Contact:
Camille Hoheb

Industry News

DotHealth, LLC Passes ICANN’s Initial Evaluation for the .HEALTH New Top Level Domain


Reaching a critical milestone in the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) approval process, the DotHealth, LLC (“DotHealth”) application to operate the .HEALTH new top level domain registry has passed the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) initial evaluation. DotHealth plans to enable a safer online namespace for global health and which also enhances the discoverability of quality online health-related information.

“Passing ICANN’s initial evaluation is an important milestone for our Company and those who share our vision for a safer and more trustworthy online namespace for health,” says Andy Weissberg, DotHealth’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “This accomplishment further reinforces the merits of the policies and safeguards we have planned for .HEALTH, which have been uniquely tailored and orchestrated to address the safety and security concerns of public health in the status quo.”

DotHealth, LLC is the only applicant for the .HEALTH TLD which has earned the support of some of the world’s most trusted and respected public health and Life Sciences industry organizations including the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the Inter-American College of Physicians and Surgeons, the World Federation of Chiropractic and others. The Company is backed by Straat Investments and Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR), the world’s leading provider of telecommunications and back-end TLD registry infrastructure services and a founding member of The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), a non-profit organization chartered in 2011 to address the growing problem Internet sales of illegitimate pharmaceutical products.

Furthering its commitments to the safety and security of users of the .HEALTH TLD, DotHealth has also exclusively partnered with LegitScript, LLC, a leading provider of online surveillance and investigative services for the world’s leading search engines and e-commerce companies. LegitScript will help DotHealth to monitor and enforce its Acceptable Use Policies which were developed in connection with LegitScript’s International Internet Pharmacy Standards and which expressly prohibit the use of .HEALTH domains for the illicit sales and marketing of harmful or dangerous substances. Additionally, DotHealth, LLC is the only applicant that re-affirmed to ICANN its public interest commitments toward the protection of the names and acronyms of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the .HEALTH TLD.

“The forthcoming expansion of the domain name system will inevitably change the landscape of online health, creating new opportunities to connect people, systems and information,” adds Mr. Weissberg, a 19-year veteran of the digital health, publishing and information services industries. “Passing ICANN’s initial evaluation brings us one step closer to raising the bar for safety and trust in online health.”

About DotHealth, LLC

DotHealth, LLC was founded to pursue the launch and commercialization of the .Health new generic top-level domain (gTLD) Registry in conjunction with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and its official new gTLD Program. Our mission and vision is to establish .Health as the most trusted top-level domain for population health management, health education and healthcare innovation worldwide. For more information, visit www.DotHealthGTLD.com.

About Neustar, Inc.

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, technology, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz .

About STRAAT Investments, LLC

STRAAT Investments is an investment holding company run by entrepreneurs and internet geeks, providing capital and leadership in technology and real estate. Among our many investments, we’re the parent company of .CO Internet, the operator of the .CO domain and Nu Dotco, an applicant for 13 new TLDs. For more information about STRAAT, visit http://www.straat.co .

Media Inquiries:

Laura Carabello
CPR Strategic Marketing & Communications
201.641.1911 x12 or lcarabello@cpronline.com

Andy Weissberg
Chief Executive Officer
DotHealth, LLC
201.906.2967 or andyw@dothealthgtld.com

Industry News

Former Bumrungrad International Management Team Form Intermedika Consulting Ltd.

Intermedika Consulting is an international healthcare consulting firm that provides strategic consulting services to hospitals, investors and medical tourism promotion organizations. The principals are senior healthcare executives credited with transforming Bumrungrad International Hospital into one of the world's leading medical tourism destinations.


Four senior executives previously with Bumrungrad International Hospital have formed a new, specialty healthcare consulting firm, Intermedika Consulting, to provide strategic consulting services to hospital operators, healthcare investors and medical tourism promotion agencies around the world.

The principals behind Intermedika Consulting are Curtis J. Schroeder, Lee Chan Yow, Janice Chan and Ruben Toral. Together, they comprised the core senior management team credited with transforming Bumrungrad International Hospital into one of the world’s leading international hospitals and the icon for the medical tourism industry. According to Curtis Schroeder, Bumrungrad International Hospital CEO from 1993-2010, Intermedika Consulting was created “to leverage the team’s considerable experience and success in designing, commissioning, managing, marketing and branding top private hospitals around the world”.

Schroeder says the new company offers expertise in hospital design, management, operations, finance and marketing and is targeting hospital operators, healthcare investors and medical tourism promotion boards that need assistance growing and globalizing their healthcare businesses and brands. Team members are already engaged in projects in the Middle East, South Asia, Eastern Europe and East Africa, where growing demand for private healthcare services is creating new expansion and investment opportunities. The company also assists US hospitals looking to expand their footprint in Asia and the Middle East.

Ruben Toral, who spearheads the new company’s marketing and branding services, says that Intermedika Consulting fills a critical gap in the market by offering clients “a cross-functional team of C-level executives with a proven track record of managing profitable hospitals and building globally recognized brands”. He says that large, multidisciplinary consulting firms typically lack expertise in international hospital management, branding and medical tourism, and US-based healthcare consulting firms do not have the depth or range of international experience offered by the Intermedika Consulting team.

Intermedika Consulting offers services ranging from business reviews to strategic consulting in design, management, finance, operations, marketing and medical tourism.

About Intermedika Consulting

Intermedika Consulting is a Hong Kong registered company that provides corporate advisory services to hospitals, healthcare companies, investors, governments and medical tourism promotion boards around the world. The team is comprised of senior international hospital management and marketing professionals with a track record of building globally recognized healthcare brands, growing profitable businesses, and delivering shareholder value. The company offers a range of services designed to help clients realize, maximize and globalize their healthcare businesses and brands.

Contact Information:  
Ruben Toral  
Email: ruben(at)intermedikaconsulting(dot)com  
Telephone: +6681 8132938  
Website:   http://www.intermedikaconsulting.com

Industry News

Global Blood Industry to Reach $28.8 Billion in 2017

The markets for blood products, blood tests and blood processing equipment are evolving with the help of new products, technologies, and equipment. The key driving forces impacting the blood industry include the cost of collection and processing, technological advances, an aging population, demand for plasma-derived therapeutics, and changes in the incidence of diseases and surgical procedures and catastrophes requiring blood transfusions.

BCC Research has published a report for covering the wide range of products and services that comprise the global blood industry marketplace. According to its report, The Global Blood Industry, the global market for blood products reached $23.5 billion in 2012. The market is expected to reach $28.8 billion in 2017, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1%.

Use this report to:

  • Receive an overview of the structure and current market size of the global blood industry, including coverage of such segments such as blood and plasma collection, blood and plasma processing, blood therapeutic products, plasma therapeutic products, and emerging trends and products.
  • Analyze the current markets for blood products, blood tests, and blood processing equipment.
  • Receive analyses of global market trends, with data from 2011 and 2012, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2017.
  • Receive information on the major aspects of blood and plasma collection/transfusion such as autologous donations, apheresis, fractionation, blood salvage, and stem cells.
  • Receive information on the federal regulation for blood supply, blood system management, and the companies serving these markets.
  • Receive information on the international developments in blood banking and related areas, as well as research and patents that will affect the future of blood industry.
  • Obtain information on current product lines and examine emerging products and technologies.

A safe and adequate blood supply is essential to the practice of modern medicine. New advances, particularly in the area of automation, have enhanced the safety and availability of blood. With its broad scope and in-depth analyses, this study will prove to be a valuable resource to anyone involved with or interested in the blood industry. This report will prove valuable to a variety of readers, including industry executives, managers and planners, researchers, industry analysts, and investors.

Please click here to place your order.

Explore this detailed report by clicking here for a complimentary download of the ‘ Introduction’ chapter. You can also reply to this email in case you would like to order this report (or any of its chapters) or if you have any questions and need additional information, please feel free to email me at bridgett.hurley@bccresearch.org.

Upcoming Events
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


August 28-30, 2013 - Ivory Coast, Africa

To learn more or to register click here .

Global Connected Care Conference and 4th Meditour Expo

September 9-11, 2013 –Anaheim, CA

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


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


October 16-18, 2013 - Mexicali, Mexico

To learn more or to register click here.

2nd Malaysia International Healthcare Travel Expo 2013

2nd MIHTE Logo

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

To learn more or to register click here.

Health Tourism Expo 2013


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

VA May Pick Up More Medical Travel Costs
Military.com — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may soon reimburse veterans for the travel expenses for receiving care at a VA medical center outside their region as an alternative to paying for local but more expensive private providers.

The Top Four Medical Travel Hotspots for Cosmetic Surgery
Mymedholiday.com — There are a handful of Asian countries whose citizens particularly value the potential for improving their looks and self-esteem by going under the knife.  There are also some other places that have simply taken the opportunity to cash in on the explosive growth of international patients seeking elective procedures overseas .  Whatever the case may be, four leading medical-travel destinations have thriving cosmetic/plastic surgery networks and have become hotspots for that kind of treatment.

India to Remain on Top in Medical Tourism: Top Expert
Deccanherald.com India will remain on top in medical tourism for at least a decade despite attempts from countries like China and Japan to tap into the flourishing business, because Indian hospitals have English language and skilled manpower advantages, a leading Indian cardiac surgeon has said.

Developments in Medical Tourism in the Caribbean
Imtj.com— Although medical tourism in the Caribbean consists more of outbound trips to the U.S. than inbound business, several countries are seeking to develop local business.

Spain Places Emphasis on Health Tourism
Imtj.com — Fifty-eight million tourists went to Spain in 2012, but as many come from within Europe, so the country worries that economic woes could slow increases in numbers and profitability. Therefore, after being lukewarm on health tourism and sometimes aggressively against medical tourism, Spain now sees health tourism as a potential money-spinner that could rescue some troubled holiday areas.  

Medical-tourism, EB-5 Initiatives Near Launch
Caribbeanbusinesspr.com— The government is getting close to announcing new initiatives aimed at making Puerto Rico a world leader in medical tourism and the island an attractive destination for foreign investors, Secretary of State David Bernier told Caribbean Business.

Malaysia Competes in Medical Tourism
Ttrweekly.com— Malaysia will promote its medical services in Cambodia, competing head-on with Thailand’s top hospitals. Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council chief executive Mary Wong Lai Lin said Malaysia has identified Cambodia as an emerging market for medical tourism.


Do you know of any available job openings relative to the medical travel industry? We encourage readers to submit any available, relevant job opportunities along with its descriptions and requirements for fellow readers and industry professionals to consider. All submissions are appreciated.


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.