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© 2015 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

Substantial Number of Omanis Continue to Prefer Healthcare Abroad: Expert

Should You Go to Cuba for Cosmetic Medical Procedures?

Macedonia to Offer Tax Benefits to Boost Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism

Spotlight Interview

Mike Massaro, CEO, Flywire


Facts about Hair Transplantation in Turkey

Employer Direct Contracting: Significant Benefits for Employers, Providers and Patients

Industry News

Global Stem Cells Group Opens Two New Stem Cell Centers in Northern Chile

Medikey™ Partners with Teladoc and eDocAmerica to Offer Consumers Direct Access to Healthcare Providers by Video Chat or Telephone

World's Health Tourism Professional Gather in Ankara

Korea Passed New Law for Promotion of Medical Tourism

IMTJ Academic Conference

Award Winning Leader and Author Dr. Prem Publishes Guides to Medical Tourism and Wellness Tourism

Private Exchange Forum Dallas Invitation



Upcoming Events

6th HTI Health Tourism Industry Conference

Medical Fair India

ELAJ - International Health & Medical Treatment Expo

23rd Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition

4th Global Health and Medical Tourism Congress

IMTJ Medical Travel Summit

IMTJ Academic Conference on Medical Travel and Cross Border Healthcare

EHMA Annual Conference 2016

2016 Annual FMMA Conference

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Volume 8, Issue 21

Dear Colleagues:

Just four years ago, a company formerly known as peerTransfer was established to provide international students with an easy and accurate way to pay for educational tuitions abroad.

Today, the company has re-launched as Flywire, with plans to expand and become the global standard for important, large-sum payments that cross borders, including international healthcare payments.

Flywire offers its global payment services to 800 colleges, universities and other educational institutions, and processes payments on behalf of students from more than 200 countries and territories, in more than 100 local currencies. Often times, healthcare facilities - similar to educational institutions - experience confusion when attempting to settle international payments from specific patients, or regarding certain procedures, and as a result encounter additional processing fees for these payments.

In this issue, Mike Massaro, CEO, Flywire, details the company's future goals and how its payment services will benefit the healthcare and medical travel industries.

I am pleased to announce our recent partnership with The Hotel Guide, which aims to promote the wellness travel industry. Each issue, MTT will feature an editorial contribution and full-size banner from The Hotel Guide, providing our readers with current and timely information.

Similarly, MTT will contribute an editorial and ad placement in upcoming issues of The Hotel Guide, which will provide up-to-date topics and trends about the wellness travel industry. View MTT's first article and ad placement (pp. 24-25) in The Hotel Guide's Holiday Issue here: http://issuu.com/thehotelguide/docs/htlgde111215?e=1130744/31953770.

Please Note: Medical Travel Today has relocated. The new mailing address is:

777 Terrace Avenue, 6th Floor
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

We wish all of our readers much joy and success in the New Year!

We're starting to hear from many hospitals, independent surgi-centers and provider groups that want to be better positioned to serve self-funded employers offering medical/surgical travel options.  If you have a good story to tell us, please be in touch!  We want to boost opportunities for Centers of Excellence nationwide. 

Tell us:

What distinguishes your service offering in terms of cost, patient experience and satisfaction, outcomes, or other quality indicators. 

Send us your descriptor, including photos or charts, and we will evaluate for publication in this newsletter.
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

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SPOTLIGHT: Mike Massaro, CEO, Flywire

141 Tremont Street
10th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: +1 617 329 4524
Fax: +1 617 778 2233

About Mike Massaro
Mike has successfully grown organizations for the past 14 years, both in start-up environments and multi-billion dollar companies. Prior to Flywire, he was vice president of Strategic Accounts & Corporate Development at Carrier iQ, ranked number nine in the Wall Street Journal's Top 50 Venture-Funded Companies of 2011, where he led the global sales team in revenue for five years, and was responsible for new market development and global alliances. Prior to Carrier iQ, Mike held numerous sales and consulting positions at edocs, Inc. which was acquired by Siebel Systems in 2004 and subsequently by Oracle in 2005.

Mike began his career as part of the technical risk services practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP and earned a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Babson College.

About Flywire
Flywire, formerly peerTransfer, is a leading provider of high-ticket cross-border payment solutions, connecting institutions on six continents with consumers from around the world. Introduced four years ago as a way for international students to pay their tuition for studies abroad, Flywire is now welcomed by more than 800 colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. The company processes payments on behalf of students from 200+ countries and territories, in more than 100 local currencies. Convenient, fast and secure, Flywire's scalable cross-border platform accepts bank transfers, online banking, and credit and debit cards - providing currency conversion at exchange rates that can offer significant savings when compared to home-market banks and credit card providers. Committed to a great end-to-end customer experience, the company offers multilingual servicing via phone, email and chat, as well as 24/7 online payment tracking.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Give our readers some background on Flywire (formerly peerTransfer). 

MM: Flywire, then peerTransfer, was introduced four years ago as a way for international students to pay their tuition for studies abroad. The company was founded by a student from Spain attending MIT who had trouble wiring money to pay his tuition - or more accurately stated, MIT had trouble identifying his tuition payment. So he set out to solve the problem.

Today, Flywire is offered by more than 800 colleges, universities, and other educational institutions and processes payments on behalf of students from 200+ countries and territories, in more than 100 local currencies.

We offer a convenient, secure and scalable cross-border platform that accepts bank transfers, online banking, and credit and debit cards. It also provides currency conversion at exchange rates that can offer significant savings when compared to home-market banks and credit card providers.

The company recently changed its name from peerTransfer, with the goal of expanding its solutions beyond education and becoming the global standard for important, large-sum payments that cross borders.

Flywire is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with international operations in London, Warrington (UK), Shanghai, China, and Valencia, Spain.

MTT: How did Flywire break into the medical travel market?

MM: There is a strong connection between education and hospitals. Many of the universities we work with are also associated with leading healthcare facilities - teaching and otherwise. These healthcare institutions attract many international patients seeking the best possible care by offering the latest procedures and medical equipment.

As a result of our work in education, many of these institutions have asked us to provide the same service for their international patients. The payment problems are very similar to those we see in education, i.e., like students, patients find it difficult to pay from their home country - the exchange fees are confusing and high, and the patients are never sure if they are paying the right amount. Healthcare facilities find it difficult to reconcile international payments against specific patients and procedures and encounter additional processing fees for these payments.

In short, the healthcare facilities want to make it easier for their international patients. Flywire can address that problem - the same exact way we do in education.

MTT: What is Flywire offering medical travel patients that competitors aren't?

MM: Flywire's cloud-based solution enables hospitals to offer international patients a simple, transparent and secure payment experience while streamlining payment collection and reconciliation efforts in their own back office.

Patients can use a variety of familiar online and offline payment options in multiple currencies. They can pay in their local currency, using a simple Web experience that is customized by their country of residence.

Flywire's discounted currency conversion rates can also offer significant savings when compared to rates offered by banks in the patients' home countries. Funds are transferred quickly and safely, and patients can track payment status online, via email or SMS. Patients also receive 24/7 multilingual support via phone, chat and email.

MTT: Will Flywire work with a third-party to receive payment, or can patients connect to Flywire directly? 

MM: Patients connect to Flywire directly online to make their payment. Flywire does the rest, including connecting with any third parties as necessary.  

MTT: Has Flywire secured any relationships with providers in the U.S. or internationally, who will refer the services to patients?

MM: We currently have relationships with several healthcare facilities in the U.S. through our work in higher education. We are working with a number of them to put the Flywire service in place for their international patients.

MTT: How will Flywire market its services globally?

MM: Flywire is focusing initially on healthcare facilities in the U.S. serving the estimated 1.2 million international patients who opt for treatment here each year. Flywire enjoys a strong position in the higher education market today, and can leverage that with healthcare facilities aligned with educational institutions, as well as others.

We will market the Flywire service to the healthcare facilities, which will then typically offer it to their international patients as the preferred way to pay.

MTT: What can we expect to see from Flywire in the future?

MM: We will look to expand our cross-border medical payment capabilities into Europe and other leading medical travel destinations, leveraging our strong market position in higher education.

We'll also look to take our solution into other marketplaces that have similar challenges related to high-ticket, cross-border payments.


Facts about Hair Transplantation in Turkey
by Yetkin Bayer, M.D.

When thinking about hair transplantation in Turkey you have to keep in mind eight important pieces of advice, according to Yetkin Bayer, M.D., accredited hair transplantation doctor in Turkey.

According to Dr. Bayer the first and most important question is:

1. How do I choose the right doctor to perform my hair transplantation operation in Turkey?

If you are going to have a hair transplantation, make sure that you are communicating with the doctor who is going to perform the procedure. Shockingly, the number of nurses and physicians who are doing hair transplantation, especially in Istanbul, is enormous. These people are not qualified on all levels, educationally, medically and legally. In spite of their huge marketing campaign these people will definitely fail to provide legal documents and credentials. When visiting Turkey for hair transplantation, please keep in mind that these operations are performed by a few real accredited doctors.

Look for answers to the following questions:

  • Does the doctor have the necessary skills and expertise to perform the hair transplantation procedure?
  • What are the techniques used in the operation?
  • Get in touch with patients who have already undergone the procedure with the doctor, ask about every detail, merits and demerits and of course about their final results and degree of satisfaction.

Always remember that the final results, the satisfactory results of hair transplantation, depend on the skillful hands of the doctor who is performing the procedure.

2. How do I avoid ending up having a fake doctor performing my operation?

In order for you not to be the next victim of hair transplantation centers in Turkey, ask about the name of the doctor who is going to perform and supervise your operation.

Do not fall for the glamorous advertisements and perfect results shown in adjusted Before and After pictures. Ask to talk with real patients and discuss all of your fears and any question you may have with them. Ask about every detail about the procedure, who is performing it, what to expect from the procedure, is the doctor going to participate in the operation him or herself, and the follow-up you are going to need after your procedure.

Ask for documentations such as a doctor's diploma, the credentials from the Ministry of Health in Turkey, and documents that prove that the doctor has attended conferences and seminars related to hair transplantation. Make sure you are contacting a well-qualified doctor.

Do not let the low price or the large numbers of offers fool you. Take your time and make the right decision.

3. What about the number of grafts?

Does the saying "the more, the better" apply when it comes to the number of planted grafts?
In fact it does. The more grafts you plant the higher density you have, but you have to take under consideration the following factors:

  • The density of donor area
  • The quality of the grafts and the number of hair in each graft. Some contain four, six, seven or even eight.
  • The experience and skill of the team who is harvesting grafts and their ability to determine healthy grafts.
  • Harvesting grafts should be done by professionals who will take under consideration the safety of the donor area.
  • Harvested grafts should be planted in a systemic way, and not randomly in the recipient sites.
  • The bald areas should not be planted on the expense of the donor site.

A skillful doctor will provide natural results for his patients without causing any damage either to the donor site or the recipient site. A good doctor will make sure that the harvested grafts are planted in the right place and in the right manner that guarantees natural results. Transplanted grafts should grow in the same direction of the original hair and patients should be able to style their hair the way they want. Natural results are what make successful hair transplantation.

4. Can I count the harvested grafts?

Some hair centers in Turkey may promise you an enormous number of grafts to be planted in one session. Some might say 8,000 grafts, but this is not a real number. The maximum number of grafts that can be extracted from any donor is 4,500, maybe 100 or 200 more, and in some rare cases 5,000. Otherwise the donor site will be damaged severely. During the operation you will believe whatever number they tell you, or anyone else will not be able to count the grafts after the procedure. So, is there a way to find out the real number of harvested grafts? Yes, after they finish harvesting grafts and before they start applying local anesthesia to the recipient site, you can ask to see the grafts. You will see that the grafts are put into petri dishes on white pieces of cloth, and put in rows and columns, which make it easy to count. Count the grafts on the first row and the ones in the first column and multiply. For example; the grafts in the first row are 25, the grafts on the first column are 12 25*12= 300. Count the petri dishes. Let's say there are 10 dishes 300*10=3000. This is the real number of harvested grafts, not an estimation. With a simple equation you can know the real number of grafts that are extracted from your donor area.

5. What is a 100 percent guarantee?

Some hair transplantation centers in Turkey provide their patients with a lifetime guarantee for the transplanted hair. Real doctors do not give guarantees. The human body is not predictable and every hair transplantation patient is a unique case. Even the most skillful doctors do not give guarantees for hair transplantation or any other kind of operation or any surgical intervention. You can guarantee the result by following the post-operation instructions.

6. What about Before and After photos?

According to a new law issued in 29.05.2005, publishing photos of patients Before and After the treatment became prohibited since 01.04.2006. Hair transplantation candidates should not believe Before and After photos that are displayed on websites because it is not legal for these photos to be online. It is merely a technique used in order to convince patients to do hair transplantation with the center. Many use computer programs to manipulate the pictures and convince people that they will get the same results displayed on the websites. These website are illegal and all about achieving profit.

7. What is the importance of follow-up after the hair transplantation?

Hair transplantation does not end when you have your last graft planted in your scalp. You have to keep in touch with your doctor directly for at least eight months after the operation; you should be able to communicate with your doctor regarding any symptom or question. Monthly pictures are required in order for the doctor to assess your progress and interfere when necessary, and provide you with healthcare when and if needed.

8. How much does it cost to have hair transplantation in Turkey?

Hair transplantation cost varies according to the following: the bald area, the age of the patient, medical substances used during the operation and the donor area. Do not settle for cheap hair translation because you don't have enough funds. Wait and make the decision when you can really choose the best doctor in Turkey to perform the hair transplantation for you.

Hair transplantation is not a life-saving operation. It is an aesthetic choice, but once it is done there is no way to correct it. If left with corn-planted or grass-like hair, this will remain for a lifetime. Take your time in making the decision of having hair transplantation in Turkey.


Website: www.yetkinbayer.com/en
Email: info@yetkinbayer.com


Employer Direct Contracting: Significant Benefits for Employers, Providers and Patients
by Laura Carabello

Original Source: The Healthcare Savings Quarterly- Healthcare reform is kicking into high gear, impacting Employers, Providers and Patients across the United States. Many large Employers face substantial monetary penalties for non-compliance with the new regulations, even as the cost of providing health benefits continues to rise. In response, business leaders are adopting new strategies to combat the impact on the bottom line and ensure quality outcomes.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Global Stem Cells Group Opens Two New Stem Cell Centers in Northern Chile
Global Stem CellsGroup has announced the opening of two new stem cell centers in the cities of Arica and Iquique in northern Chile. The new centers are the latest part of Global Stem Cells Groups' expansion efforts in Latin America.

Global Stem Cells Group announced the opening of a new core patient care hub with the opening of two new clinics in the cities of Arica and Iquique in northern Chile. The facilities are part of GSCG's expansion efforts in Latin America.

Both the Arica and Iquique clinics offer the most advanced protocols and techniques in stem cell medicine to patients from around the world.

The clinics will be headed by Victor Perez, M.D. and Duval Aguirre, M.D.

Global Stem Cells Group is expanding its clinical presence throughout Latin America and worldwide by partnering with qualified physicians experienced in stem cell therapies to open new clinics. The new Arica and Iquique clinics are certified for the medical tourism market.

GSCG is committed to the highest standards in service and technology, expert and compassionate care, and a philosophy of exceeding the expectations of their international patients.

For more information, visit the Global Stem Cells Group website, Email bnovas@stemcellsgroup.com, or call 305-560-5337.

About the Global Stem Cells Group:
Global Stem Cells Group, Inc. is the parent company of six wholly owned operating companies dedicated entirely to stem cell research, training, products and solutions. Founded in 2012, the company combines dedicated researchers, physician and patient educators and solution providers with the shared goal of meeting the growing worldwide need for leading edge stem cell treatments and solutions.

With a singular focus on this exciting new area of medical research, Global Stem Cells Group and its subsidiaries are uniquely positioned to become global leaders in cellular medicine.

Global Stem Cells Groups corporate mission is to make the promise of stem cell medicine a reality for patients around the world. With each of GSCGs six operating companies focused on a separate research-based mission, the result is a global network of state-of-the-art stem cell treatments.

To view the original release click here.

Industry News

Medikey™ Partners with Teladoc and eDocAmerica to Offer Consumers Direct Access to Healthcare Providers by Video Chat or Telephone
Quality, convenient medical services and savings tools now available for individual purchase: https://www.yourmedikey.com

Medikey™, a health data aggregator that empowers consumers and employers to take greater control over healthcare costs, today launched a partnership with Teladoc (NYSE:TDOC) and eDocAmerica to offer underinsured and uninsured consumers unprecedented access to quality, affordable medical care online or by telephone. A benefit once available only through employers and health plans, consumers can now access directly from Medikey™ this type of convenient, non-emergency care from board-certified physicians, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, dentists and fitness experts for $50 annually.

"Our bundled toolsets enable consumers to make smarter healthcare choices," says Joe Truscelli, founder and CEO, Medikey™, whose team helped to pioneer the current electronic data interchange rails in place, providing healthcare revenue cycle management tools for one-third of today's healthcare providers. "Combined with our unique retail and online digital channel partner agreements which connect to millions of Americans nationwide, Medikey fills the gap for the underinsured/uninsured consumer market. Today, we're opening the floodgates for consumers to take advantage of many healthcare services -- like Teladoc and eDocAmerica -- which have not yet reached their true potential market penetration."

The MediKey™ program enables consumers to email a physician and get a response within 24 hours at no charge. A $45 co-pay allows card holders to talk with a Teladoc physician via mobile devices, the internet, secure video and phone, and receive a personal response within an average of 10 minutes.

"Medikey™ is growing and evolving, with expanded offerings to include pricing and comparative shopping tools for any procedure -- from minor injuries to bypass surgery - as well as a medical tourism option to access care worldwide," says Truscelli. "Our programs steer people away from costly ER visits, provide answers and options for saving money, and help to relieve the burden of unpaid medical bills, bad credit and bankruptcy."

About Medikey™
Medikey™ is a healthcare data aggregator providing consumers, third party administrators (TPAs), self-insured employers and insurance companies an online search engine for exact healthcare pricing and purchasing. Medikey™ enables smarter healthcare choices and cost savings with HIPAA-compliant technology. Visit www.YourMedikey.com, www.facebook.com/medikey, www.twitter.com/MyMedikey.

About Teladoc
Teladoc, Inc. (NYSE: TDOC) is the nation's first and largest telehealth platform, delivering on-demand healthcare anytime, from almost anywhere via mobile devices, the internet, secure video and phone. More than 12.5 million U.S. members are connected to Teladoc's network of over 2,000 board-certified, state-licensed physicians and behavioral health professionals who provide care for a wide range of non-emergency conditions. With a median response time of less than 10 minutes, Teladoc physicians will perform more than 525,000 telehealth visits in 2015. Teladoc and its physicians consistently earn a 95 percent member satisfaction rating or better, and Teladoc is the only telehealth company to be certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its physician credentialing process.

Recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of its "50 Smartest Companies 2015," Teladoc works with health plans, employers, organizations and individuals to provide access to affordable, high-quality healthcare on demand. Teladoc is transforming the access, cost and quality dynamics of healthcare delivery. For more information, visit www.teladoc.com, www.twitter.com/teladoc, www.facebook.com/teladoc or www.linkedin.com/teladoc.

CPR Communications
Katelyn Petersen, 201.641.1911 x 18

Industry News

World's Health Tourism Professional Gather in Ankara

"Global Health Tourism Summit and Fair (Health Sumex)" will be held in Ankara Congresium on 28-29-30 September 2016 with gracious support from T.R. Ministry of Health and strategical partnership of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) under patronage of Association of Industrialists and Businessmen of Ankara (ASIAD 1989) as an organization by HHB EXPO company.

Thanks to its unique and strategic geographical position, Turkey is a center of attraction. Geographical proximity to Europe, Asia, Middle East, North and Central Africa, Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) combined with developed means of transportation and an advanced health system, makes Turkey a perfect spot for health tourism. Considering a total area of 200.000.000 km2, Turkey is the most important health tourism destination of the world with its health structure, hospital system, technological infrastructure, internationally successful medical professionals and well-trained health personnel. Given its cost-effectiveness, tourism visit advantages and quality technological infrastructure, Turkey is the leading choice for international patients. Moreover, treatments in Turkey, especially in some areas, are 60 percent cheaper than many European Countries.

In addition to its importance as a destination, Turkey also has a very developed and advanced infrastructure in all aspects of health and health-related tourism. Especially in recent years, both public and private health institutions achieved improved physical infrastructure, and also received well-trained physicians and other types of health professionals to a status of high esteem among other countries with advanced health services. Indeed, Turkey exceeded most of the countries, especially in health tourism and certain sub-sections of the medical sector. Turkey offers many advantages and more in terms of physician quality, medical equipment, infrastructure and improved services.

Gaining more importance with each passing day, health tourism has become an important export item for developed countries. The number of medical travelers received in Turkey in 2013 exceeded 300 thousand. When the number of operations held in health centers is considered, the figure increases to 480 thousand. The revenue generated by health tourism in 2013 reached around 2.5 billion dollars. For this reason, the process including the treatment of patients has become a fast-paced, developing sector. Receiving good attention from the market economy, the health tourism presents significant opportunities in Turkey similar to any country. Considering the possible contributions of the health tourism for national economy and regional influence, more effective policies are needed. Given the geographical location, climate and culture. as well as quality, developed and more accessible health services thanks to political and economic stability of the last decade, Turkey offers significant advantages for the health travelers. In addition to natural gifts of Turkey for health tourism, existence of a special unit for supervision and regulation of health tourism under the Ministry of Health is yet another advantage. This gives great confidence to all who desires to serve to the development of health tourism in Turkey and to all who seek investment opportunities in the sector.

The first "Global Health Tourism Summit and Fair (Health Sumex)" will be held on the dates of 28-29-30 September 2016. Important institutions and professionals of the global health tourism sector will gather in the organization. Also, the structural transition of health industries, as well as other important subjects on the development of the health tourism, will be discussed. Over 5,000 experts and representatives from the sector are expected, including top officers and bureaucrats from T.R. Ministry of Health, as well as other Ministries, National and International Health Tourism Agencies, Representatives from Health Tourism Investment Companies, Medical Tourism Investment Companies, International Insurance Companies, Health Centers, Special Treatment Centers and Clinics, Management Team Members and Professionals from Hospitals, Health Center and Clinics, Senior Officers from State, University and Private Hospitals, Managers and Shareholders of Health Institutions, Hospital Owners and Managers, Faculty Members, Physicians, Technicians and Nurses from Hospitals, Health Tourism Professionals, Health Professionals, Wellness Operators, Owners and Managers of Thermal Hotels and Facilities, National and International Tour Operators in Health Tourism, Thermal Tourism, Spa and Wellness Tourism, Representatives from Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations in the Sector, Investors and Officers from Elderly Care Houses, Manufacturers and Exporters of Medical Technology and other decision makers in the health sector.

"Global Health Tourism Summit and Fair (Health Sumex)" provides unique opportunity to get in touch with the leading contacts who guide Turkey's health tourism sector and industry, which is one of the largest and most attractive markets in Europe. In the organization actors will have an opportunity to meet with health professionals, get involved in new profitable business opportunities that will accelerate their imports and exports, and introduce their new and current product range to the leading decision makers of the sector to facilitate their market penetration in their promotional efforts. The participants will also have a chance to fortify their existing business relations, follow the latest and state-of-the-art technologies and, most importantly, conduct B2B meetings to achieve quick returns and productivity in the sector.

The conference series, which will be held concurrently with the expo will continue for two days. Important topics of the sector will be discussed by many opinion leaders under leadership of keynote speakers who will highlight good practices through sharing experience and knowledge among participants. Over 5,000 domestic and foreign participants are expected for the Sumex. Also "Procurement Committees" from Germany, Arab Countries, Azerbaijan, Holland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, Russia, Ukraine and North Africa countries will meet with fair participants.

For detailed information about Global Health Tourism Summit and Fair please visit:

Industry News

Korea Passed New Law for Promotion of Medical Tourism

Businesskorea.co-kr- The Act on Overseas Medical Expansion and Foreign Patient Attraction Support passed the plenary session of the National Assembly on Dec. 2. It is expected that the act will allow more than 160 domestic medical institutions to go abroad and at least 500,000 foreign patients to visit Korea by 2017.

According to the act, medical institutions wishing to go abroad can benefit from financial and tax incentives based on relevant laws such as the Export-Import Bank of Korea Act. Similar benefits go to agencies attracting foreign patients, too. In addition, medical advertisements are allowed at duty-free stores, airports, ports and the like and those patients returning to their countries after treatments in Korea can get follow-up services in their countries by means of telemedicine. The globalization of Korea's medical industry is expected to result in the creation of up to 50,000 jobs a year.

The medical tourism market of Korea is growing at a rapid pace these days but still lagging behind those of Thailand, Singapore, etc. Over two million foreign tourists visit Thailand a year and the size of its medical tourism market already exceeds three trillion won (US$3 billion). Likewise, more than one million people arrive in Singapore each year for the same purpose. Medical tourism in India, Malaysia and the Philippines are showing a double-digit growth, and the Japanese and Chinese governments are trying hard to catch up with them.

Experts point out that Korea needs to provide personalized medical services, work on diverse medical tourism resources and build specialized brands if it is to remain in the game. According to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, Korea ranks 19th out of the 34 OECD member countries in terms of overall medical tourism competitiveness. Specifically, Korea ranks second in facility and equipment, fourth in medical service, ninth in technological level but 31st in human resources and 33rd in industrial growth potential.

A key solution to this problem is digital healthcare characterized by telemedicine. In this regard, Korea signed cooperation agreements with the Czech Republic, Vietnam, the Philippines, Peru, Brazil and China this year. The Severance Hospital, Gacheon Gil Hospital, Hanyang University Hospital and many more are expected to expand their business abroad based on the MOUs.

Digital healthcare will provide personalized healthcare and medical services by combining medical care with ICT. The medical industry is focusing on it as a new paradigm because it can contribute to disease prevention and management, higher medical service quality and lower medical costs. Korea, which is home to excellent medical workers and advanced ICT, can get the inside track in this field.

To read the original article click here.

Industry News

IMTJ Academic Conference
‘Medical tourism: Time for a check-up?'
25-26 May 2016
Madrid, Spain

Call for papers
Much research on ‘medical tourism,' ‘international medical travel,' ‘cross-border healthcare' and ‘transnational patient mobility' to date has focused on the hopes, motivations and experiences of mobile patients, as well as on the desires, plans and expectations of the national destinations that attract and host them. By contrast, scant scholarly work has examined the concrete effects of this growing phenomenon on the diverse range of places, peoples, health and social systems, and industries in the areas where these patients habitually reside and, for medical travel destinations, in the particular local areas where these patients' (physical, symbolic and economic) presence can most be felt.

As a result, while more and more governmental and private-sector bodies in destinations are investing in the development of ‘medical tourism,' scant evidence is available to support, refute or complicate:

  • Popularized notions about who is actually travelling for what kinds of medical attention and treatment;
  • Claims that ‘medical tourism' can serve as an engine for economic development in destinations or hinder/harm mobile patients' home and host health systems; and
  • Arguments about who benefits and who does not from ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' strategies that are shifting and evolving in line with emerging and changing market, social and political situations both within and beyond national borders.

This two-day conference therefore aims to bring together scholars from academic and research institutions from around the globe in order to critically examine and discuss existing and emerging national, sub-national, transnational and cross-sectoral strategies for the following:

  • Promoting and dissuading ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' in and between source and destination sites, in order to draw attention to the diversity of stakeholders, interests and scales involved;
  • Evaluating and managing the range of real and expected impacts of (diverse stakeholders' investments in) ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' in and between source and destination sites, in order to move beyond an unproductive circulation of often poorly grounded claims and counter-claims; and
  • Identifying and assessing the real-life needs, desires, expectations and practices of a broader range of foreign healthcare-users and -consumers, in order to recognize not only the great diversity of mobile patients (e.g., geographical origins, socio-economic and political status, etc.), but also other resident ‘foreigners' (e.g., expatriates, lifestyle migrants, foreign students, etc.) who make use of ‘medical tourism' resources.

We invite scholars to submit papers that critically engage with the above-mentioned issues. Papers focused on multi-scalar and cross-sectoral governance of ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' initiatives, partnerships and networks, as well as those examining how ‘medical tourism' and ‘transnational patient mobility' fit within broader development objectives (e.g., transition towards the creative economy, biotech development, regional and city place-branding, etc.) are especially welcome.

The Academic Conference (25-26 May 2016) will overlap with the International Medical Travel Journal's (IMTJ) Medical Travel Summit (24-25 May 2016), which brings together governmental and industry representatives from around the world who are involved in the development of medical tourism. This will provide a unique opportunity for conference participants to attend parts of the IMTJ Summit and actively foster and engage in much-needed cross-sectoral knowledge exchange and dialogue.

To submit a paper proposal, please send an email with a 250-word abstract and a 100-word bio via http://summit.imtj.com/academic-application/ before 11 December 2015. Scholars and researchers in any stage of their career (e.g., Ph.D. students, etc.) are encouraged to share their studies. Successful applicants will be contacted by January 8, 2016 and will be expected to register for the conference by February 12, 2016 to secure their place in the May 2016 conference program. 

For further information about the call for papers, please contact a member of the Academic Advisory Board:
​Meghann Ormond (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) meghann.ormond@wur.nl
Neil Lunt (University of York, UK) neil.lunt@york.ac.uk
John Connell (University of Sydney, Australia) john.connell@sydney.edu.au

Conference logistics
Conference registration and fees
Information about conference registration can be found at http://summit.imtj.com/delegates. Academic rates are only available to attendees who are affiliated with an academic or research institution.

1-day access to the Academic Conference

EUR 200

2-day access to the Academic Conference

EUR 275

2-day access to the Academic Conference + 2-day access to the IMTJ Summit

EUR 400

Conference location
The Academic Conference and the IMTJ Summit will be held at Hotel Meliá Avenida América in Madrid, Spain. Information about the venue can be found at http://summit.imtj.com/venue/

Additional information
For further queries about conference logistics, please refer to http://summit.imtj.com/academic-overview/ or contact the Event Director, Sarah Ward, sarahward@imtj.com

Industry News

Award Winning Leader and Author Dr. Prem Publishes Guides to Medical Tourism and Wellness Tourism

Rising global health awareness with people seeking better and convenient avenues of healthcare and wellness has led to the creation of niche wellness and medical tourism sectors, two flourishing domains in the global tourism industry. Wellness and medical tourism are most sought after ventures by the health conscious, who are keen on exploring various healthcare options within their means to enhance their quality of life.

Though many people are aware of these niche tourism sectors, they lack authentic information. The recently published comprehensive guidebooks have done a commendable job by addressing the basic issues of medical tourism and wellness tourism to provide valuable information regarding planning and implementation.

The author, an award-winning leader, speaker and global influencer Dr. Prem Jagyasi recently met with The Minister of State for Culture (IC), Tourism (IC) and Civil Aviation of India, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, where he presented him with newly launched Medical Tourism and Wellness Tourism guide books.

Dr. Prem said, "A medical tourism research conducted by us revealed that 59 percent of industry experts believed that accessing reliable information is a major challenge for the industry. Since many are still unaware of the immense benefits of wellness tourism and medical tourism, and the associated challenges, the objective of these guides is to educate the reader about other effective avenues of wellness and treatment through cross-border exploration."

Cross-border travel seeking better medical support is not a risky affair, but if done without proper planning and reliable information can invite life-threatening situations. Reliability and authenticity of information is a big issue that shapes the success of a medical and wellness tourism venture.

Reinforcing his commitment towards addressing the huge knowledge deficit and with a view to empower the healthcare seeker with a credible insight in wellness and medical tourism, Dr. Prem has deftly framed these guidebooks enriched with informative writing supported by interesting facts and anecdotes.

About Dr Prem's Guide - Wellness Tourism

Wellness tourism, about a $500 billion industry is a swiftly expanding niche amidst the existing flourishing tourism industry. The book explores the gamut of purposefulness driving the readers to move ahead in the quest for achieving a healthy state of body and mind. Often the target fulfillment is possible only if one is aware of the huge potential trapped in certain practices and cults available in specific countries.

Dr. Prem, who has travelled to more than 45 countries to explore tourism activities said, "Once considered as a fringe option, traditional wellness treatments and practices have regained their worth and fame in the global scenario. In spite of this, accessing authentic information regarding these treatments and their effectiveness remains a big challenge."

About 105 natural therapies are narrated in the guidebook. The idea is to encourage the reader to think about broader avenues of cure and wellness, leading to the supreme state of mental and physical wellness. The lucid and well-formatted description of various therapies like spas, mud therapy, sound and light therapy, water therapy, writing therapy, meditation, yoga and many more encourage the reader to explore these avenues.

Read more about Dr. Prem's work in Wellness Tourism at http://drprem.com/wellness

About Dr. Prem's Guide Medical Tourism

The booming medical tourism industry has been of special attraction to global tourists, who are now opting for top-class medical treatments across borders, along with spending a vacation.
This enriched guidebook comes as a storehouse of valuable information related to each and every aspect related to medical tourism. Not every country has the infrastructure and expertise to provide the best medical support for every ailment. People travelling to foreign lands seeking relief from their bodily sufferings is a method practiced since ancient times, and with gradual technological advancements, it has taken the shape of modern medical tourism.

The initial chapters of the book provide a vivid understanding of the medical tourism concept and the plausible reasons that encourage the phenomenon. This comprehensive guide has touched all the aspects of medical tourism without missing out on the trivial issues, with an aim to keep the reader informed of all aspects.

A well-crafted description of 50 medical tourism destinations highlighting their uniqueness in medical tourism is the most attractive part of this book, helping readers to select the right destination as per their requirement and affordability.

Read more about Dr. Prem's work in medical tourism at http://drprem.com/medical-tourism

Justifying the necessity of authentic information in this industry, the author has provided an honest approach in these guides leaving no room for ambiguity and confusion. The reader will make his choice confidently.

Dr. Prem's extensive experience in writing several life benefitting guidebooks has led him to compile these valuable guides in the most arresting manner through well-framed chapters and sections.

The author has envisaged medical tourism from a wider perspective with an amazing insight. He rightly asserts that, "Even though the process of accessing care in a foreign location might seem very simple, patients should be aware of the challenges and issues associated with the industry prior to making any medical travel plans."

Dr. Prem Jagyasi summarizes his guidebooks in a nutshell. "I have devised a rule called Dr. Prem's Medical and Wellness Tourism Rule: assume less, reassure more and plan meticulously. The guidebooks are based on this rule. I have attempted to provide answers to all the possible queries a medical or a wellness tourist might have, provided guidelines for you to reassure yourself, and checklists and graphs that will help you plan meticulously. Simply put, these are all the factors necessary in ensuring you a safe and successful journey towards complete cure and wellness."

About the Author
Dr. Prem Jagyasi, globally renowned chartered consultant, entrepreneur, healthcare consultant and tourism industry expert has penned highly motivating guidebooks applauded by global readers. His travelling experience to more than 40 countries and enriched experience in healthcare marketing and Medical Tourism consultancy has helped in developing the right insight to author highly informative Medical Tourism Guide and Wellness Tourism Guide.
These books are designed to be benefitting for those seeking a better quality of life in all aspects. His charismatic personality and exceptional ability to create rapport with the audience has earned him a respectable position in the global platform as a keynote speaker.

Dr. Prem has been associated with popular social activities with innovative projects like No Tobacco Campaign, Family Health Festival, Summer Health Festival, Diabetes Events etc. We look forward to more such valuable guides to enrich our life and pass it among our closed circle.
Dr. Prem further take delights in Travel Photography http://photo.drprem.com

Dr. Prem Jagyasi with Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Honourable Minister of Culture & Tourism and Civil Aviation of India, discuss and present guide books about Medical Tourism and Wellness Tourism. http://photo.drprem.com/Dr-Prem-Jagyasi/Dignities/i-jnPQnSf

Contact Details and Links - Dr Prem Jagyasi
info@drprem.com | http://drprem.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/drpremjagyasi
Twitter: http://twitter.com/drpremj
Dr Prem's Official site : http://drprem.com
About Dr Prem Jagyasi: http://drprem.com/drpremjagyasi
Dr Prem's Guide Books: http://drprem.com/books
Medical Tourism Guide: http://drprem.com/medical-touirsm
Wellness Tourism Guide: http://drprem.com/wellness

Quick Links:  Registration   Agenda  General Sessions   Workshops

Dear Readers,
You have been cordially invited to attend Private Exchange FORUM Dallas, the nation's leading conference on private exchanges and innovative employee benefits, as a VIP, on behalf of Medical Travel Today
*Enter the code "MEDICALTRAVELVIP" when prompted during registration

Your VIP Registration Includes

  • Free registration to attend Private Exchange FORUM Dallas.
  • Six general sessions led by top industry thought leaders and subject matter experts.
  • Choice of two hands-on workshops.
  • Chance to network with the industry's top thought leaders & practicioners of health care consumerism.
  • Opening night networking reception.
  • Option to attend one of three pre-conference events at an additional cost of $159.

Private Exchange FORUM Dallas will be held at the
Embassy Suites Frisco | Feb. 23-24, 2016 | Dallas, Texas

Deadline to register for free is January 11, 2016

Produced by: The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism
292 South Main Street, Ste 400
Alpharetta, GA 30009

Industry News

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors
100 percent of all donations on MatchingDonors.com go to help people get organ transplants on MatchingDonors.com.

MatchingDonors is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation's largest online living organ donor organization finding living organ donors for people needing organ transplants.  In conjunction with various health organizations throughout the United States we have created a very successful Public Service Announcement campaign to help people recognize that they can save lives by being a living organ donor, to encourage them to register as an altruistic living organ donor, and to make them realize they can help save the lives of people needing organ transplants by donating other things. This MatchingDonors Living Organ Donor Initiative program has already saved thousands of lives.



Upcoming Events

6th HTI Health Tourism Industry Conference

March 03-04, 2016 - Vienna, Austria
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair India

March 11-13, 2016 - Bombay Convention & Exhibition Center, Mumbai, India
To learn more or to register click here.

ELAJ - International Health & Medical Treatment Expo

March 13-15, 2016 - Oman International Exhibition Center, Muscat, Oman
To learn more or to register click here.


23rd Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition

March 23-26, 2016 - Expocenter Fairgrounds, Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

4th Global Health and Medical Tourism Congress

April 14-20, 2016 - TBA
To learn more or to register click here.

IMTJ Medical Travel Summit

May 24-25, 2016 - Madrid, Spain
To learn more or to register click here.

IMTJ Academic Conference on Medical Travel and Cross Border Healthcare

May 25-26, 2016 - Madrid, Spain
To learn more or to register click here.

EHMA Annual Conference 2016

June 14-16, 2016 - Istanbul, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.

2016 Annual FMMA Conference

August 18-20, 2016 - The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City, OK
To learn more or to register click here.

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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

Substantial Number of Omanis Continue to Prefer Healthcare Abroad: Expert

Muscatdaily.com-A substantial number of Omanis prefer seeking treatment abroad, and India is the most chosen destination because of its quality healthcare facilities, according to an expert.

Should You Go to Cuba for Cosmetic Medical Procedures?

Yahoo.com-For the first time since 1961, relations between the United States and Cuba are thawing.

Macedonia to Offer Tax Benefits to Boost Medical Tourism

Macedoniaonline.eu-Macedonia's government is set to offer tax benefits that will stimulate foreign businessmen to invest in the development of medical tourism.

Medical Tourism

Highlandstoday.com-About 30 percent of Newsom Eye & Laser Center's business comes from medical tourists like a security company owner and his wife from the Virgin Islands.


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.