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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
Stephanie Clark

 

Table of Contents

From the Editor

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

News in Review

Dubai Medical Tourism Initiative Bolstered

Taiwan Creates New Niche Market Through Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism Initiative Strengthened

Smile! There's a New Trend in Medical Tourism

US$170m Medical Tourism Facility for St. James

DOT, DOH to Offer Medical Tourism

First Total Hip Replacement Opens Doors To Untapped Medical Tourism

Spotlight

Roland Conrady, ITB Berlin

Perspectives

Richard Krasner: Spinal Fusion Outcomes in Washington State

Patient's Perspectives

Clare Morris

Industry News

Business Standard Reports Medical Tourists Boost Service Apartments' Growth

TIME Magazine Examines India’s Surrogacy Ban for Gay Couples, Non-married Couples and Single Men and Women

Cayman Islands: Construction starts on East End health project

Philippines: Medical Tourism Potentials Eyed

Upcoming Events

ITB Health Tourism Battle - ITB Destination Day at the ITB Berlin Convention 2013

PANASALUD International Medical Tourism Conference 2013

International Summit on Health & Wellness Tourism

Kuwait Medical Tourism Congress and Exhibition Scheduled for March 2013

4th Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress

Shanghai Medical and Healthcare Tourism Show

2013 CMTR European Medical Tourism Research Symposium

International Board of Medicine and Surgery (IBMS) Mini Medical Conference

Global Connected Care Conference & 4th Meditour Expo

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Global Health Voyager

THIS WEEK IN MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY

Volume 7, Issue 5

By Amanda Haar, Editor

Greetings,

Medical travel has expanded its reach beyond the radar of those in just the healthcare industry. As evidenced by this week's SPOTLIGHT and several INDUSTRY NEWS items, the potential of medical travel as an economic driver is taking center stage in many venues and countries.

In that mix is India, which, while optimistic about the potential for growing tangential industries, is at the same time struggling with recently passed government policies that could severely and negatively impact one of its major medical travel revenue streams: surrogacy. See INDUSTRY NEWS.

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

Cheers,

Amanda Haar, Editor
ahaar@cpronline.com 

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 onto www.medicaltraveltoday.com

Spotlight

Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady

SPOTLIGHT: Roland Conrady, ITB Berlin

Editor's Note: Attracting 170,000 visitors and 11,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries, ITB Berlin is the leading B2B-Platform in the tourism industry. When I heard they were dedicating a session to medical travel, I decided to reach out to the event's scientific director, Roland Conrady, to learn more. Here's what he had to share.

Medical Travel Today (MTT):The ITB Berlin convention has been in place since 2004 and growing dramatically. How long has medical travel been on the agenda?

Roland Conrady (RC): This will be the second year. We're always looking for market trends that have the potential for further growth. Last year we landed on medical travel and continue to see the potential there. Demographic change is going to continue to drive the industry.

As people get older they need more medical help, more procedures. And without question, the global population is aging and living longer. They are looking for options.

In fact, I know one company that concentrates on medical travel and tours where the guides are doctors. Over the past 10 years they've gone from 0 to more than 50 million Euros. That's some big growth.

Plus, we're seeing more and more big tours operators - the Thomas Cooks and TUIs of the world - approaching the medical travel market.

Last year we put on two sessions at the conference to test audience interest. Those sessions were very well attended and discussed. That's what encouraged us to offer them again this year.

MTT: Your program lists it as the Health Tourism Battle. What exactly is involved in the “battle”?

RC: Oh, it's quite fun and lively. The way it works is different suppliers, be they tour operators, hospitals tackling international markets, and so on, put on a four-minute presentation. That's it. Four minutes. They can show a few slides, but they need to briefly share what their product is, how it answers a market need, and what's unique.

So for example, a hospital in Bangkok might present on their international patient program, their physicians, amenities, etc. At the end of it, the audience votes on the best presentation and product. Last year this proved to be a very interactive and lively format. The feedback from attendees was extremely positive.

MTT: How do you decide who presents?

RC: We have a call for papers and presenters. Right now we're still in the process of receiving materials, so there's still time for an application. Last year we received 25 or 30 presentations. From those we made a short list that was then reviewed by ITB management. Ultimately nine were chosen and the winner was MesaStila (click here to view winning presentation).

When we're reviewing presentations we look for good, inspiring content representing different segments of the industry. We don't want all the presentations to be hospital ones. We like to mix it up with what new ideas or innovations travel agents, tour operators, etc. are bringing to the industry. The topics can be quite broad, say, business methods or marketing activities. And we look for a global perspective.

MTT: Will transcripts from the Battle be made available?

RC: Presentations are usually available as downloads. Everything that we get in printed format we bring to the Internet for download, and we're aiming to have podcasts and possibly video podcasts.

MTT:Do you anticipate giving the topic further attention in the future?

RC: I can't say.

We have a lot of competition when it comes to presentation slots. There are just many topics - aviation, hospitality, destination, travel IT, travel distribution - we don't always have enough time. And in reality, we are giving medical travel the same coverage time that we give aviation.

But we'll see how the industry evolves and what the interest level and demand from our attendees is.

UPDATE: Editor's Note: Since I conducted this interview, the ITB Berlin has finalized its slate of presenters for the Health Tourism Battle. They include:

  1. Gesundheitsreise.de: Website
  2. University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhine-Sieg: Project Initiative Medical Tourism along the Rhine River - Bonn - Cologne - Duesseldorf
  3. Bangkok Hospital
  4. World Medical Tourism and Healthcare Congress
  5. Swissotel Berlin: Deep Sleep Concept
  6. Global Spa and Wellness Summit
  7. Treasure Travels: Medical Tourism in Chennai, India
  8. Vivante International Medicine 
  9. EBC Praxisatelier Berlin

ITB Berlin will take place March 6 -10, 2013, with the Health Tourism Battle occurring on the March 7. To learn more, click here.

About Roland Conrady

Dr. Conrady has been professor in the Department of Tourism and Travel Management at Worms University of Applied Sciences since 2002. His research and teaching focus is on air travel, e-business and tourism. He has also been director of the world's largest tourism convention, the ITB Berlin Convention, since 2004, and is on the supervisory board of several tourism companies. He is also president of the German Society of Tourism Research (DGT) and writer of books (including publications, such as “Luftverkehr”, Conrady, R./Fichert, F./Sterzenbach, R., Munich 2013). Prior to that, he was in charge of the Electronic Business course and professor of General and Transport Business Administration at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences. After obtaining his doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.) at Cologne University in 1990, he worked for Deutsche Lufthansa in several executive positions until 1998.

Perspectives

Richard Krasner: Spinal Fusion Outcomes in Washington State

One of the most common procedures in workers' compensation is lumbar fusion, according to Joe Paduda, the source of today's blog post subject. In his blog post entitled, What We Nerds Love..., Joe discusses a study recently released on back surgery outcomes in the State of Washington in the February edition of Health Services Research.

The study on the safety of lumbar fusions, Joe reports, found that outcomes -- defined as complications within 90 days of a fusion - for workers' comp patients were not nearly as bad as he thought they would be, but he found that they were somewhat better than the average.

Joe believes that this may be due in part to the Washington State's IndustrialInsurance Fund's tough stance on authorizing fusions.  In turn, that was based on prior research that indicated fusions had generally poor outcomes.  He believes that their numbers may have been better because they do a good job of winnowing out those claimants more likely to have poor outcomes.

In going to the abstract of the study, I found the following statistics from the report in the principal findings:

Complications within 90 days of a fusion occurred in 4.8 percent of patients, and 2.2 percent had a reoperation. Hospital effects accounted for 8.8 percent of the total variability, and surgeon effects account for 14.4 percent. Surgeon factors account for 54.5 percent of the variation in hospital reoperation rates, and 47.2 percent of the variation in hospital complication rates. The discretionary use of operative features, such as the inclusion of bone morphogenetic proteins, accounted for 30 and 50 percent of the variation in surgeons' reoperation and complication rates, respectively.

Their conclusion stated that quality improvement efforts that focus on surgeons' discretionary use of operative techniques may be more effective than those that target hospitals, in order to improve the safety of lumbar spinal fusion surgery.

In my White Paper on the legal barriers to implementing medical tourism into workers' compensation provider networks (pg. 15-16), I mention that Washington State is one of two US states where workers' comp laws allow claimants to seek medical treatment in other countries, and that the Washington State work comp agency has a page on its website that lists the countries it has accepted as destinations for medical care. The names of the providers are found on PDF files under each country name.

It would be interesting to find out what the outcomes for lumbar spinal fusion surgery are in the hospitals I listed in my recent post, No Back Alleys Here: Medical Tourism Hospitals, Clinics and Networks in Latin American and the Caribbean, especially in the Cayman Spine Institute, which has spinal surgeons from the US on staff.

If Joe is right about Washington State being better than average, we have to ask what is the average, and how does that compare to hospitals closer to the US in the Western hemisphere?

If anyone has such numbers, I'd love to see it, and would welcome you to collaborate on this blog with that information.  

Patient's Perspective

Clare Morris

Clare Morris

Editor's Note: Covering the business of medical travel as we do, it's easy to go for long stretches without checking with the end consumer: the patient. In this week's issue we rectify that with an interview with Clare Morris of Columbia, SC. A long-time runner, Clare tore the meniscus in her left knee five years ago and underwent successful surgery.

Last summer she started to experience similar symptoms in her right knee. She adjusted her fitness routine to incorporate less stressful forms of exercise, including swimming and biking. The change brought her some relief but, as she tells below, one exuberant night of dancing put her back on the path of inevitable surgery.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): What finally drove you to seek a surgery for your knee?

Clare Morris (CM): I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but in early November I attended a birthday party/political fundraiser here in town. I had a great night. There was lots of dancing and laughter and general merriment. But mostly dancing.

The next morning I woke up and knew I had done it -- I had pushed my knee too far.
As it happened, the president of Companion Global, David Boucher, is a friend of mine. I tested him and asked how his company could help.

MTT: Were you already familiar with medical travel?

CM: Yes and no. I knew it mostly through conversations with David. However, a lot of people think medical tourism is a little sketchy and scary, but that perception is completely wrong.

My experience was absolutely superb from the first minute of planning all the way through to today. I'm now just two weeks out from my surgery and there's no bruising, no swelling, and barely a mark where they made the incision. Compared to the recovery I experienced in the left knee, well, there's no comparison. I literally had swelling for months after my first surgery, but with this one it's already gone.

MTT: Did you pursue receiving care in the US, as well as abroad?

CM: The first conversation I had was with David, so I started down the path of going to Costa Rica. My care coordinator, the fabulous Phill Midden, told me I would need a diagnosis from a local doctor in order for them to appreciate what we were dealing with. I did that and then forwarded my medical records to Phil.

During that visit I also learned that if I were to have the procedure done locally, the total cost would have been $15,000 -- I have a $7,500 deductible.

MTT: And how did that compare to what you actually paid?

CM: Before I get to the price I want to say that even just how they provide you with pricing is completely different and so much easier to understand. Everything was itemized, and it was always clear what it was going to cost. I didn't have to decipher a thing. The cost to me, including an MRI, came in at $7,800.

MTT: Did that include travel and lodging?

CM: No. But even with those added in it didn't come close to the US estimate. My airfare was $550 roundtrip. I stayed in a hotel for four nights at $150 per night. I'm not sure what my final food expense was, but it certainly was under $1,000.

MTT: Did you actually coordinate your travel and lodging?

CM: No. Companion Global has a partner, Well-Being Travel, which coordinates travel. They even make recommendations on what seat you may want based on what procedure you're having done. Plus, they're familiar with what hotels are close to what hospitals - I stayed at a nice Holiday Inn a half block from the CIMA San Jose facility. It all came together very quickly, and it wasn't time or energy consuming, which was important to me. At the point where I needed care I was in chronic pain. Plus I was working full-time, and I simply didn't have the energy to navigate all that. Fortunately, they did it all for me.
My fabulous nurse, Rosella Brenes, met me at the airport with a wheelchair, and they got me back to the airport in comfort and with ease.

MTT: What's been the experience with post-surgical care since you've been home?

CM:  To be honest, I haven't needed any. I was a bit concerned about the return trip but it all went fine. I will have to admit that I've been a really good patient. However, my doctor, Dr. Jaime Ulloa (who I like to call Dr. Muy Guapo) was a very skillful orthopedic surgeon. I did all of the PT and everything that I was supposed to do while I was at the hotel recovering. In fact they sent a nurse (Rosella) over daily, and I also had physical therapy every day. They were genuinely invested in my well-being and recovery. One day Rosella was trying to find me in my room, and I was actually up by the roof pool, reading and icing my knee. So I guess she called and called then, fearing I had fallen, came to the hotel and tracked me down in the hotel restaurant. I feel pretty confident that wouldn't have happened here in the US.

MTT: Say, did you ever hear from the US doctor with whom you originally consulted?

CM: You know I just got a robo-call from them yesterday. That's been it.

MTT: And how about Companion Global? Have you heard from them?

CM: Yes, I've heard from my care coordinator (Phil) and the nurse (Rosella) I mentioned earlier. But I've been completely without problems so that's not much to talk about. How happy am I?

MTT: And how are you now?

CM: I'm great. I was walking four days after surgery and less than two weeks after surgery I'm walking and swimming completely normally.

Just this morning I woke up and wondered why I was so happy. It took me a minute but then I realized it was because for the past couple of weeks I have been pain-free for the first time in a long time. You just don't appreciate how much chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life. Once you're without it it's like getting a whole new lease on life.

 MTT: I'm curious. How did your friends and family react to the idea of you going abroad for care?

CM: The first reaction was universal surprise. The second was concern -- lots of questions like ‘are you sure?' and ‘what about the doctor's qualifications?' ...those kinds of things. It seemed a little “back alley” to them. But I had answers and off I went.

Now that I'm back and there's really no scar or swelling, and I'm not limping like I was before, they're asking a whole set of different questions. And looking at me like I'm a little less crazy than they thought!

About Clare Morris
Ms. Clare Morris is the CEO of the Clare Morris Agency, Inc. (CMA). She has two decades of experience in public and media relations, crisis management, and strategic planning and implementation. In 2006, Clare was thrilled to launch her own public relations agency with several colleagues from the SC Department of Commerce. CMA, which is getting ready to celebrate its 7th birthday, specializes in helping organizations that are working to make the state more globally competitive.

Ms. Morris is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina. She has taught Mass Communications and Public Speaking at Mount Saint Mary College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Professional Development, Personal Awareness, and Sociology at South University in Savannah, G.A.

Industry News

Business Standard Reports Medical Tourists Boost Service Apartments' Growth

Editor's Note: According to a recent story in business-standard.com, medical travel is creating new opportunities for service apartments in India. The article notes that patients and the companions prefer apartments to hotels for longer stays and, not surprisingly, rental agencies prefer medical travelers to leisure travelers due to the extended nature of their stays. To view the article click here.

Industry News

TIME Magazine Examines India's Surrogacy Ban for Gay Couples, Non-married Couples and Single Men and Women

Editor's Note: A recent story in TIME Magazine takes a hard look at a new policy by India's Home Ministry that could have a huge impact on the country's $2.5 billion surrogacy industry.

The perceived morally-based policy has both fertility centers and surrogates scrambling for understanding.

To read the story click here.

Industry News

Cayman Islands: Construction starts on East End health project

caymannewsservice.com-Work has finally begun on the much anticipated first phase of Dr. Devi Shetty's medical tourism project in East End. According to the local partners, some 40 workers, most of whom are said to be Caymanian, are now on the Health City Cayman Islands construction site, where the 140-bed hospital is expected to open in early 2014. Concrete is being poured and the first part of the work by general contractor Cayman Healthcare Construction Group is now well underway. The number of jobs is expected to increase to as many as 300 over the next two months.

The project director said the work going to local people as opportunities for Caymanians, both during the construction phase and on an ongoing basis once the facility is operational, is a priority for the development.

The first-ever Planned Area Development (PAD) approval in the history of the Cayman Islands for the project was granted in January and planning approval for the 107,000 sq. ft. hospital building was given the go-ahead earlier this month. The 'first pour' of cement took place last week.

Officials said that innovative technologies would be used at the Health City to mitigate the infrastructure impact of the project; waste from the hospital would be reduced and managed through recycling, reduced use, on-site sterilization of medical waste, incineration, and shredding.

Rainwater will be used for non-potable purposes and sewage, which will be treated on site, will be used for the drought-resistant local flora and fauna that will make up the surrounding landscape.
A non-commercial onsite nursery is in the process of being set up to propagate local plants and trees and to recycle felled trees into peat. A road infrastructure plan has also been designed to address phase one and future phases of the development. In addition, officials claimed that the electrical load will be minimized through Salt Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) and high-efficiency building design using insulated concrete forms (ICF).

Despite claiming green credentials, however, there has been no environmental impact assessment on the project, even though it will have a significant impact on the surrounding area and in particular what had been, until the project began, undisturbed habitat and home to a significant amount of locally endangered flora.

Nevertheless, both government and the officials on the project have pointed to the significant benefits the project is expected to bring to the Cayman Islands. From the fees paid to the government during the planning process of more than CI$300,000 to the purchase of building materials bought locally, officials said the benefits were already apparent.

“Construction workers, attorneys, accountants, architects, consultants, hoteliers, restaurants, and other providers of essential products and services have already begun to benefit,” a release about the start of construction stated.

Recruitment gatherings in several districts have taken place and applications for both the construction trades and the eventual hospital operations have been accepted.

The project is said to be valued at around US$2 billion and will be built in phases over 15 years. Eventually it will include 2,000 beds across a multi-specialty health city, providing services not currently widely available in the region, such as open-heart and bypass surgery, angioplasty, heart-valve replacement, cancer treatment, and organ transplants.

For more information go to www.healthcitycaymanislands.com.

Industry News

Philippines: Medical Tourism Potentials Eyed

bworldonline.com- "The Tourism and Health departments are working on a medical tourism program. We are trying to see which are areas or services we can offer and where we can excel," said Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. in an interview after the Philippine Economic Briefing on Wednesday.

He added that, based on studies, there is "tremendous demand for areas like orthodontology, dentistry, cancer treatment and retirement."

The department said on Feb. 6 that it is targeting 5.5 million foreign tourists this year.

For local tourism, the department is targeting 56 million. Tourism accounted for 7 percent of the country's economy last year and the Tourism department hopes to increase that to 11 percent by 2016.

It is targeting 44 million domestic trips by 2016.

Already there are foreign firms interested in possibly setting up medical facilities in the country that will cater to local patients and international tourists.

Indian firm DM Healthcare LLC said on Feb. 12 that it is looking at the business potential of the Philippines.

"Bringing in foreign investments is the next step in medical tourism. We have sent some of our healthcare professionals, and then we enticed foreign patients here so investments are the next step," said Joyce Socao-Alumno, country representative of DM Healthcare in the Philippines.

Upcoming Events

 

ITB Health Tourism Battle - ITB Destination Day at the ITB Berlin Convention 2013

March 7, 2013 - Messedamm 22 D-14055, Berlin

Following up on 2012's great success, the ITB Berlin Convention and visitBerlin will present the second round of the ITB Health Tourism Battle on ITB Destination Day, March 7, 2013. The event is designed to provide insight into international best practices, challenges and trends in health tourism -- a long-term tourism growth market. Worldwide, there has been an increase in the number of destinations and travel companies focused on health tourism and developing new products in this sector. The Health Tourism Battle will feature nine short and dynamic presentations in English on excellent, creative, unique or innovative products and destinations related to health tourism. Each four-minute presentation will be voted on by the audience, with the winner receiving an award and prize.

To learn more or to register click here.


PANASALUD International Medical Tourism Conference 2013

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March 14, 2013 - Horacio Alfaro Hall of the Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, Panama

Panama's first major international conference on medical tourism and global health will bring together more than 150 professional groups and five international speakers to share historical market data, current statistics, knowledge on the formation of multi- disciplinary business structures and commercial and risk preparation for small, medium and large companies. As medical and health tourism becomes a budding industry in the Republic of Panama, this conference seeks to bring together doctors, dentists, clinics and hospitals to acquire knowledge and experience directly from medical tourism experts.

To learn more or to register click here.


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March 15 - 17, 2013 - The Ashok, New Delhi, India

This three-day summit will offer multiple networking opportunities, facilitate new business relationships, work contracts and achieve an international standard towards the medical tourism industry worldwide. The event will see the participation of ministers, experts, investors, delegates, policy makers and media from world. More than 400 delegates, over 20 keynote speakers, thousands of potential consumers, and industry leaders from over 20 countries will take part in this year's event.

To learn more or to register click here.


Kuwait Medical Tourism Congress and Exhibition Scheduled for March 2013

Kuwait Medical Tourism Congress and Exhibition invites local, regional and international best hospitals and medical tourism facilitators for a three-day convergence focusing on networking among the stakeholders, high quality of medical services, and the investment opportunities in healthcare throughout the world.

Slated for March 19 - 21, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuwait, the event will see the participation of some of the leading names in the medical tourism and healthcare industry. The conference will comprise workshops conducted by renowned international speakers. The workshops will cover topics that range from medical tourism, current medical research initiatives, the latest innovations in the health sector, future business opportunities in healthcare, insurance, and healthcare quality to the globalization in healthcare.

To learn more or to register click here.


4th Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress

March 20-23, 2013 - EXPOCENTRE Fairgrounds, Moscow, Russia

Russia's biggest medical tourism project of 2013, Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress will bring together key players of the business world. The mission of this congress is to discuss the integration of Russia and the CIS into the global health systems and improve ways of communication.

Key topics include:

  • Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries - key players in the global medical and health tourism market
  • Effective business development programs in Russia and CIS countries
  • Case studies by professionals and unique business models
  • Development of voluntary medical insurance in Russia
  • Russian insurance companies and the global medical tourism market
  • Health tourism: the specifics of business, its geography and market volumes in Russia and CIS
  • Medical tourism and the practical experience of foreign clinics
  • Quality and safety of medical services for international patients
  • Legal seminar: Russian and international legislation in medical tourism

To learn more or to register click here.


Shanghai Medical and Healthcare Tourism Show


April 2-4, 2013 - Everbright Exhibition Center, Shanghai

The 2013 Shanghai Medical & Healthcare Tourism Show (SMTS) aims to provide a platform for communication and cooperation among suppliers, destinations, hospitals, insurance companies, hotels and other professionals of global medical and healthcare tourism products. SMTS opens a window for the large number of potential customers and professionals in China to know more about global medical and healthcare tourism products. Based on full preparations, SMTS has won strong support from China's health authorities and tourism officials.

To learn more or to register click here.


4th Medical Travel International Business Summit

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April 24-26, 2013 - Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Herradura Beach, Central Pacific, Costa Rica

This year's summit will focus on connecting US healthcare companies such as insurance companies, self-insured companies, third party administrators and managed care organizations who are focused on being able to decrease their healthcare costs in the face of Obamacare, while maintaining a high level of care for their members and employees. Directors from the Costa Rican Health System, government representatives, investment agencies, trade commissioners, medical associations and tourism operators will gather to share best practices and further promote and expand health tourism in the region. Attendees will be provided with information about existing programs and show diverse opportunities for new activities related to medical tourism and retirement living.

There will also be guided tours of Costa Rica's top hospitals, breakout sessions to discuss topics of interest, such as new procedures to solve vexing health problems, medical travel and the US perspective, opportunities and challenges facing medical tourism for companies, presenting a medical travel option to employees, and many other hot medical tourism topics.
To learn more or to register click here.


2013 CMTR European Medical Tourism Research Symposium

April 26-27, 2013 - Heidelberg, Germany

The Center for Medical Tourism Research (CMTR) examines the business, clinical, economic, ethical, legal, marketing, operational, policy, social justice and societal impacts of the medical tourism, medical travel, dental tourism, health tourism, wellness tourism, fertility tourism, transplant tourism and retirement tourism industries worldwide.

The 2013 CMTR European Medical Tourism Research Symposium is open to all interested stakeholders in this emerging global industry.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr. Melanie Smith, Budapest Business School, associate professor and researcher in Tourism at the Budapest Business School in Hungary
  • Dr. Laszlo Puczko, managing director, Xellum Consulting, LTD, and teacher at the Budapest College of Communication and Business in Hungary

A conference fee of 50 Euros is due onsite. Government and student fees are 25 Euros with valid verification of government or student status.

To learn more or register click here.


International Board of Medicine and Surgery (IBMS) Mini Medical Conference

April 29-May 1, 2013 - Tampa Bay, FL

The International Board of Medicine and Surgery's (IBMS) Mini Medical Conference in Tampa Bay, Fla., will feature key speakers Dr. Sharma, executive director of IBMS India in Mumbai, and Dr. Rai of the India Medical Association.

During the conference, IBMS will meet with various institutions in the Tampa Bay area to share information about medical tourism.

To learn more or to register click here.



Global Connected Care Conference & 4th Meditour Expo

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

This two-day international conference will bring together professionals from all over the world to discuss the latest trends and opportunities in global healthcare. The conference will include presentations by some of global healthcare's biggest decision makers and thought leaders. Conference themes include:

  • Global Physician Referral Networks and Patient Care-The Next Generation of Care
  • Self-Funded Insurance Groups-Providing Healthcare Travel Alternatives
  • Business Processes and Advanced Global Healthcare Marketing Strategies
  • Integrating Global Healthcare Technologies with Medical Travel
  • Legal Issues in Global Care
  • Accessing the US healthcare market: both inbound and outbound
  • Dental Tourism
  • M-health, Telemedicine and Electronic Healthcare Information Platform

To learn more or 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

Dubai Medical Tourism Initiative Bolstered

GulfNews.com - The medical tourism initiative received a much-needed boost as government bodies, stakeholders, private healthcare representatives and global healthcare companies met under the same roof of Arab Health, which opened on January 28. According to healthcare officials, who spoke about the medical tourism initiative and its implementation, the sector generated $1.6 billion (Dh5.8 billion) for Dubai in 2012.

Taiwan Creates New Niche Market Through Medical Tourism

FocusTaiwan.tw - In the eastern county of Hualien, Taiwan, traditionally known better for its coastal scenery than medical services, 67 local medical institutions and travel operators recently joined hands to start offering high-end medical packages aimed at luring Chinese tourists.

Medical Tourism Initiative Strengthened

GulfNews.com - Participation in international medical exhibitions and seminars is being encouraged to promote Dubai as a medical tourism hub. With an aim to establish strong distribution networks for medical and wellness services, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will work together.

Smile! There's a New Trend in Medical Tourism

TravelAndLeisure.com - New evidence suggests dental tourism is skyrocketing, with a now estimated one million people traveling outside their home country for affordable dental treatments and enhancements. According to medical travel resource Patients Without Borders, most tooth tourists are from the US, with Europe a close second-with the majority seeking implants, crowns, root canals, and smile makeovers.

US$170m Medical Tourism Facility for St. James

Go-Jamaica.com - Investment promotions agency, JAMPRO, has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with American Global MD (AGMD) for the country's first ‘five-star' medical tourism facility valued at US$170 million.

DOT, DOH to Offer Medical Tourism

PhilStar.com - The Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Health (DoH) plan to come up with a program covering medical services the Philippines could offer to tourists as a way of encouraging more foreigners to visit the country, a cabinet official said.

First Total Hip Replacement Opens Doors To Untapped Medical Tourism

FPTCI.com - The first total hip replacement procedure performed in the Turks and Caicos Islands was a success that not only sets up the potential for further medical procedure advances, but also establishes the Turks and Caicos Islands as a premier location for 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.