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© 2014 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

Painful and Rapid Spread of New Virus in Caribbean

Coup Threatens Thailand's Hold as Top Destination for Medical Tourism

Indian Doctors Come Home to Medical Tourism Hub

The Business of Outpatient Spine

Healthcare Prices Vary Across the U.S.

Healthy Travel Media Launches Third Edition of Patients Beyond Borders


Michael J. Barry, M.D., president, Informed Medical Decisions Foundation


Cheryl Smith, Medical & Wellness Tourism Manager at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority  


Kelly Jenkins, Co-founder and CEO, 360 Global Health

Industry News

7 Reasons to Choose Turkey as the Best Destination for Hair Transplantation

Mercy Starts Construction on Nation's First Virtual Care Center

Florida Medical Tourism

World's Largest Self-Insurance/ART Event Coming to Phoenix!

SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Healthcare System Compares Internationally

Medical Tourism Attracting Tourists To Dubai

Why Waste Your Healthcare Dollars In The United States?

Cost of Healthcare: A Country-by-Country Comparison 

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors

Upcoming Events

The Health Tourism Show

IBMS Medical Mini Conference

Ap14Singapore Conference

6th Regional Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine

Hospital Management Asia 2014

Medical Fair Asia 2014

8th Annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit

10th International Exposition and Conference for Medical Tourism, Spa & Health


7th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress

34th Annual SIIA National Educational Conference & Expo

International Medical Forum and Spa & Wellness: Healthcare Travel Expo

Mexico Summit on Medical & Wellness Tourism Business

Health Tourism Expo Turkey

Medical Asia

IHC Forum West 2014

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress

Medical Fair India

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015

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Volume 8, Issue 3

Dear Colleagues:

In many cases, geographic location determines the cost and quality of medical treatment, as well as the initial provider a patient consults with and the kinds of procedures that are offered. 

In this issue, Michael J. Barry, M.D., president, Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, emphasizes the significance behind informing prospective patients that the outcomes related to certain healthcare choices, regardless of location, are extremely important. 

He shares, "There is actually evidence that when patients are fully informed and educated on procedures, 20 percent fewer undergo major surgical procedures."

Dr. Barry further explains the recent merger between the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation and Healthwise, and the partnership's mission to further promote a broad spectrum of patient education materials, as well as provide extensive outreach and advocacy efforts to ensure consumers are fully involved in their own personal healthcare decisions.

There's even more evidence of employer interest in "steering" their employees to Centers of Excellence: Check out The Alliance® http://www.the-alliance.org/ and its QualityPath™ initiative. http://www.the-alliance.org/about-qualitypath/
A cooperative of employers who self-fund their health benefits, the Wisconsin-based Alliance is moving healthcare forward by controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health.

It is developing the QualityPath™ initiative to embody the philosophy:  The Best Treatment is Found Not by Chance, but by Choice.  The Alliance is working with the Business Health Care Group in Milwaukee to develop QualityPath for employers in three states. While QualityPath is not a medical travel program in its purest sense, the goal is to select providers that are about two hours - or slightly more -- driving distance.

I had the pleasure of recently working with the Alliance and provided a Webinar presentation to a multitude of its members.  See these resources below:

  • Blog post highlighting the webinar: Seven Insights for Helping Employees 'Make the Switch' to Higher-Quality Care
  • Recording of the webinar
  • Slides from Laura Carabello's presentation
  • Progress Report on the QualityPath Initiative
  • An article highlighting how to switch providers from the Center for Advancing Health

The U.S. Domestic Medical Travel space is clearly growing, and I am pleased to report that the Self Insurance Institute of America has invited me to chair a panel on the subject at the annual meeting: www.siia.org/national.

Date: October 5-7, 2014 
Location: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, Phoenix, Arizona

The SIIA National Conference & Expo is the world's largest event focused exclusively on the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer marketplace, typically attracting more than 1,700 attendees from throughout the United States and from a growing number of countries around the world. The program features more than 40 educational sessions designed to help employers and their business partners identify and maximize the value of self-insurance solutions.

For additional details about SIIA and the medical travel panel, read the article entitled, "SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers," below.

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




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SPOTLIGHT: Michael J. Barry, M.D., president, Informed Medical Decisions Foundation



About Michael J. Barry, M.D.
Michael became president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation in 2009, but has been involved with the Foundation since its beginning and previously served as chief medical editor. He is a past president of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) and the Society of General Internal Medicine. Michael has led many prominent research studies including the Prostate PORT-II and is currently working on the CAMUS trial. His research interests have included: defining the outcomes of different strategies for the evaluation and treatment of prostate disease, decision analysis, health status measurement, clinical quality improvement and the use of decision aids to facilitate patients' participation in decision making. Michael has published extensively in peer-review journals and other print media on topics such as prostate cancer, BPH, PSA testing and shared decision making. He has had many opportunities to present and teach on these topics and others, both nationally and internationally.

Michael continues to practice primary care and serves as medical director of the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a master of the American College of Physicians. Michael holds an M.D. from the University of Connecticut Health Center, and completed his residency at Strong Memorial Hospital and his fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

About the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation
The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has been working for over two decades to advance evidence-based shared decision making through research, policy, clinical models and patient decision aids. We are a Boston-based organization with a network of medical editors and clinical advisors from some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world.

On February 20, 2014, we announced our pending merger with Healthwise, the nonprofit with the world's greatest reach in engaging patients. Healthwise brings exceptionally strong expertise in patient engagement technologies and plain language, as well as nationwide policy leadership in health information technology. By joining forces we will help ever-increasing numbers of people become meaningfully involved in their healthcare decisions.

As one combined organization, we will inform patients and amplify each person's voice to:

  • Help people improve the care they provide for themselves and their families.
  • Help people set and reach health behavior goals.
  • Advocate for public policy that supports these goals.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Give our readers some background on your professional experience in the industry.

MB: Currently, I am president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, as well as a primary care doctor by training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation is in the process of merging with Healthwise, which will bring two nonprofit organizations together that collectively have 64 years of experience in helping people to make better health care decisions.

Healthwise and the Foundation have very complementary strengths, making the merger an excellent decision. Both organizations possess a deep experience in shared decision making.

Healthwise has a broad spectrum of patient education materials that are accessible to people in terms of health literacy, and we have extensive outreach and advocacy efforts to ensure that people are involved in their health decisions in ever-increasing numbers.

We have a long research tradition of proving that what we do really works, and we think the pairing of the two organizations will only make us stronger.

Regarding the focus of this newsletter, which is medical travel, alongside my professional experience, I would claim that there are two important steps to first remember for patients considering this option.

First and foremost, it is so important that patients are absolutely positive that the care they will receive is the care that they actually need and want. After all, patient preferences and healthcare delivery do not always align.

Based on geographic variation in rates of procedures, where a patient lives, as well as who the patient initially consults, may have more to do with what kind of care is received, or what kind of procedure is even offered, than that person's clinical condition or preferences.

Many patients who opt to undergo a particular treatment may not fully understand what a procedure entails. For example, an elective coronary revascularization, when done for stable angina, can help improve functional status and reduce angina, but it doesn't prevent heart attacks or help people live longer.

As a whole, our current informed consent process is broken.

Both the Foundation and Healthwise have been working to ensure that people are truly informed and involved in their healthcare decisions.

There is actually evidence that when patients are fully informed and educated on procedures, 20 percent fewer undergo major surgical procedures.

MTT: In this informed decision making process, does the employer or the decision maker play a role? If they don't, should they?

MB: There is definitely an incentive for payers to be more active in this role. I think all parties should be involved, and in some cases, they are.

Years ago, second opinion programs were very popular, and are still a great option to consider.

There are accessible tools for patients now, such as decision aids, which can help to fully inform and involve patients.

Currently, there are 115 randomized trials of people utilizing decision aids, proven to help patients choose appropriate options concerning procedures, such as elective surgeries.

When patients are more informed, knowledge scores are better, risks are more accurately estimated, and more initiative is taken in the overall healthcare decision process.

Again, I have to emphasize that before taking the step of deciding how and where a patient wants a procedure, the first basic step is to figure out whether the procedure is really necessary. For most medical problems, there is more than one reasonable treatment option.

MTT: Does the informed medical decision extend to selecting the right place and the right doctors for having that procedure?

MB: To date, we haven't worked on helping people specifically choosing doctors.

Primarily, we focus on informing prospective patients that the outcomes related to a certain choice are extremely important. For example, patients who have a blockage in a blood vessel to the brain may decide that a carotid endarterectomy is the right procedure to reduce the risk of stroke. Then, of course, where to receive treatment, and the stroke risk from the surgery itself, should be dominant factors in whether or not the informed patient decides to proceed with this treatment option and where.

The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care is a great source for patients to better understand that the likelihood of certain recommended procedures is going to depend upon where they live. As I said earlier, where a patient lives, and who a patient consults with, may have as much to do with a recommendation as their clinical condition and what matters to them.

MTT: What is your take on domestic medical travel? Do you think it will impact better outcomes and lower costs?

MB: Domestic medical travel may have an impact on better outcomes and lower costs because outcomes do vary from facility to facility, and higher volume centers often get better outcomes. So, in turn, traveling to higher volume centers might make sense.

On the other hand, domestic medical travel can potentially remove the opportunity for a patient to be in a supportive environment at home while receiving treatment. Also, it may be more difficult to receive the necessary follow-up care, which is often easier to arrange closer to home.

MTT: What about lower cost opportunity?

MB: I think both cost and quality need to be examined.

It has been documented for a long time that thekind of people who are willing and able to travel some distance for care are often in better physical shape, may have better socioeconomic status and are destined to have better outcomes than those who are treated locally. So comparisons of outcomes between medical travelers and folks who stay to be treated at home may be unfair.

MTT: Do you see any hospitals in Massachusetts becoming Centers of Excellence -- ones that employers nationwide would want to send their employees to access care?

MB: Care in Massachusetts is relatively expensive, and I know many Massachusetts hospitals are working to become more cost-effective.

On that note, facilities nationwide cannot just assume their care is excellent - it has to be proven through statistics and outcomes data.

MTT: Is your model an international model?

MB: Yes, we have an international model - poorly informed medical decisions know no boundaries. We are working with colleagues and partners in countries including the United Kingdom and Australia to improve medical decision-making.



Spotlight: Cheryl Smith, Medical & Wellness Tourism Manager at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority  

Cheryl Smith is no novice to communicating the value of medical travel. She's been boosting opportunities for the city of Las Vegas in her role as Medical & Wellness Tourism manager at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA.com) for nearly three years.

"If I told you about everything new happening in Las Vegas I'd run out of words," quips Smith. "But the whole focus in terms of what I'm doing with medical and wellness travel is a new concept for our destination."

Under her direction, the LVCVA has taken a multi-faceted approach to examining what Las Vegas does very, very well.

"Certainly healthcare meetings and medical meetings are a key piece, and an obvious thing, for us to begin strategizing ways to expand and grow that business," she explains. "This includes increasing the number of bookings for medical meetings, like the Bio Skills Training and Continuing Medical Education for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. We have five surgical-skills training facilities here that provide continuing medical education services for physicians, so there are approved cadaver training facilities and approved veterinary training facilities, too."

Smith is powering up presentations and programs for the upcoming Institute for Healthcare Consumerism™ Forum West, November 10-12, 2014, Las Vegas, Nevada. (http://www.theihccforum.com/2014west/) The City will feature its hotels, spas, accommodations and specialized accommodations for corporate medical travelers and others interested in Las Vegas as a medical/wellness destination.

"We are working on a special set of programs for pre-conference day -- an opportunity to really showcase the medical and wellness facilities that are offered within the destination," says Smith, "We want to promote the concept that Las Vegas is a medical and wellness travel destination. That idea in and of itself is new to many people."

From a value proposition perspective, she says that Las Vegas offers many features that employers would find very attractive.

"Some are obvious, but others may not be so obvious," says Smith. "The number of hotel rooms and availability for combinations that we offer is staggering. Airline transportation schedules are incredible -- over 900 daily inbound and outbound flights. While this number fluctuates, the ease and ability with which people can travel domestically, as well as internationally, to Las Vegas is remarkable."

Smith also cites the fact that Las Vegas offers an abundance of other amenities.

"For example, we are known as a dining and foodie destination with great restaurants," notes Smith. "For people who are traveling for a wellness purpose, they may ask, ‘How many of those restaurants offer healthy dining options?"

The answer is that the City has just added this information to its website: www.lasvegas.com. People can actually search healthy dining, vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu options at restaurants. Smith estimates that there is well over 50 or 60 restaurants just on the Las Vegas strip alone that offer those types of amenities.

When people are coming to a conference, they will have the ability to see Las Vegas from many perspectives, including the "wellness side." Las Vegas boasts 45 resort model spas that offer wellness and preventative health type services for de-stressing, relaxation, rest and rejuvenation. Ten of these spas are Forbes-rated and considered "five star."

"I've been told by industry gurus that Las Vegas has more spas in one destination than anywhere else in the world," says Smith. "So when you look at the availability and accessibility to experience a wellness, preventative health or even a corporate wellness team-building experience tied to wellness and healthcare, Las Vegas is the destination of choice."

From her point of view, Smith views medical care and wellness as two separate offerings.

"Our primary approach is certainly to promote medical meetings, but we are also focusing on wellness travel and preventative health, as well as medical travel," adds Smith. "The reason that medical travel is positioned in third place is because it does involve more collaboration and represents an entirely different industry than the travel and tourism industries -- which is the specialty focus of LVCVA."

Smith goes on to explain the collaborative relationship with a multi-disciplinary, not-for-profit healthcare organization called Las Vegas HEALS (http://www.lasvegasheals.org/)

"This collaboration spans our economic developing agencies, medical schools and main university -- the University of Las Vegas -- for the development of a strategic plan for the community to look at the development of medical tourism in the community," says Smith. "Part of that does include working with the community around price transparency and packaged pricing, and bundling of medical services. It covers the whole experience."

While the focus at LVCVA is on travel tourism, the organization is not comprised of medical experts, making this partnership with Las Vegas HEALS so important.

"Las Vegas HEALS embraces that concept on behalf of the medical community, and then works with the medical providers here in town to really identify who is doing what, who is an expert in which areas, and what our Centers of Excellence offer," says Smith. "We really just launched the relationship and still have some work to do. Some providers have figured it out and offer package programs with transparent pricing. Others are still in the development process."

Smith is very proud of the fact that Las Vegas has a lot of hotels - over 150,000 hotel rooms within the destination. Not all of them are the necessarily the best places for a medical traveler to recover, but some hotels have taken the lead for the hotel industry to begin incorporating wellness technologies and amenities into the rooms.

"A great example of that is the Stay Well Room Product at MGM," says Smith. "They have really been a leader for the hotel industry in working with the Cleveland Clinic and a company called Delos Living (http://delosliving.com/mission/defining-wellness-real-estate/) to really infuse the rooms with wellness technology."

These technologies may be of interest to any traveler, whether they are coming to Las Vegas for a medical or wellness purpose or otherwise.

Smith adds, "M Resort also has a new room that they call the Experience Room, which is basically a room that comes with wellness amenities that can be brought into the room. They also offer a Vitamin C-infused shower head and other types of aroma therapy and enhancements that create more of a wellness environment."

She points to other accommodations that are "off the strip" that may appeal to medical travelers who are traveling with a spouse or family members.

"Hilton Grand Vacations has a new medical traveler's discount program, and these are non-gaming, non-smoking facilities hotels and accommodations that are apartment/condo type units with kitchens and in-room washers and dryers," says Smith. "Sometimes they offer multiple bedrooms, and are terrific for a family or people who are coming here for care and having to stay for a longer period of time."

Then there's a whole different type of experience like the one available at Trump International Hotel Resorts and Spas in Las Vegas.

"It's also off the strip and non-gaming, but offers a different experience," she says. "Trump Wellness includes everything from an early morning boot camp for organized workouts to complete spa treatments -- all designed around a wellness and preventative health experience. They are trying to target the traditional medical surgical traveler and the wellness preventative traveler."

The logical question is this: Are there any other cities that are making any effort to do this kind of program?

Smith responds, "Honestly, I am so focused on Las Vegas -- which is the greatest city in the world, in my opinion - that I really couldn't address what other cities are doing. I am focusing strictly on what we are doing here, and I love it."

Nota bene (NB): She says that no other cities have called her to get some guidance - but one would bet that those calls will be forthcoming. After all, many other cities now have gaming, spas, hotels, medical providers and Centers of Excellence....so medical travel will be a natural ally. Stay tuned.


Kelly Jenkins, Co-founder and CEO, 360 Global Health



About Kelly Jenkins
I love figuring out what people need and then providing it for them. I am a solution specialist.

Currently, I run 360 Global Health Inc. - a medical travel company that provides alternative healthcare solutions to consumers who want trusted, high quality, value priced care around the globe.

I have been fortunate to have learned from successful leaders over the years:

  • As a UCLA basketball coach's daughter, I saw John Wooden's Pyramid of Success in the den daily and was fascinated by the traits leading to COMPETITIVE GREATNESS.
  • I learned from my university professor, Stephen Covey, that certain CONSISTENT BEHAVIORS will guarantee success as a leader.
  • Jim Nordstrom taught me that the best inventory management system in the world can track what product you're out of, but can never tell you what your customers want. Only INTERACTING with them will do that. 

I now practice what these great leaders and other successful organizations consistently do: 

  1. ENGAGE with people you serve
  2. LISTEN to them
  3. Use their feedback to CUSTOMIZE your services offered
  4. PERFECT your operations, and
  5. Provide an unparalleled participant EXPERIENCE. 


My passion is to create business models that are innovative, scalable, profitable and provide services that fill a void. Medical travel fills a void 1) for consumers who want / need medical procedures they cannot otherwise access, and 2) for employees who need affordable healthcare solutions for their employees.

We have established a global network of clients, medical service providers, vendors and governments that all participate in the delivery of these services.

Contact me at kellyjenkins@360globalhealth.com if you have interest in this emerging global industry network.

Specialties: New business identification, business modeling, strategic sales and marketing implementation, high-level global networking, international business, operations, financing, start-ups, entrepreneurship and leadership.

About 360 Global Health
360 Global Health is a leading provider of global medical travel services. We have established a network of international healthcare providers to provide access to medical services at competitive prices. We service 1) worldwide medical patients - both direct to consumer and to employees via employer groups, 2) international healthcare providers, and 3) global companies, municipalities and communities seeking alternative healthcare options / benefits for their members / citizens.

Our network is comprised of leading international hospitals, clinics and specialty centers of excellence - both overseas and domestically. To partners and network members, our primary objective is to create revenue opportunities for them through increased patient acquisition.

To consumers, 360 Global Health is about traveling with confidence to a location other than their hometown or country to obtain healthcare. We are a catalyst to help patients find medical care from some of the best and most affordable doctors and hospitals around the globe.

Every patient has different needs. For some, "better medical care" means getting access to the care that they couldn't otherwise afford. For some, it is the ability to select from the most respected facilities and caregivers in the world. For others, it is more about having their choice of the most special recovery destinations on the planet.

Quality. Access. Value. Trust.

It is why everyone feels better with 360 Global Health.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Tell our readers about 360 Global Health.

Kelly Jenkins (KJ): 360 Global Health encompasses a twofold meaning: one signifying complete care around the globe, the other implying a full continuum of care.

360 Global Health was formed with the patient experience in mind, and the mission to improve upon the overall healthcare system.

For example, in terms of pre-care, if a patient is in need of an orthopedic procedure, our staff will first visit the patient's home to ensure that proper handrails are in place, or cumbersome throw rugs are removed. We take care of the little things that most patients don't even think of.

Most importantly, we are responsible for the coordination of care between partnering care physicians.

More often than not, patients contact us and confess that they were too embarrassed to inform their primary care physician (PCP) that they've received, or want to obtain, treatment abroad.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, they will inform us that they don't even have a PCP and are in need of one. We can help them find one.

MTT: How do you facilitate that connection?

KJ: Right now, we are expanding our network to include domestic facilities, physicians and surgeons.

We believe there are four different healthcare connection possibilities: inbound, outbound, domestic and international.

We are actively working on different strategies to help offer domestic medical travel, as well. For example, patients may not feel comfortable going to their local hospital due to cost, infection rates, etc., and so they decide to seek treatment at an all-inclusive orthopedic specialty center in a different location.

Luckily, 360 Global Health is stationed in Los Angeles, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to refer patients to a tremendous number of impressive providers involved in a number of different disciplines.

Recently, every physician I've spoken with in Southern California has had an inquiry from an international patient traveling for care. Individuals are traveling from locations including China, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Argentina - all over the globe! Los Angeles serves as both a desired destination point, as well as a pass-through point when traveling to other areas of the United States.

MTT: Do you only direct patients to seek care in Los Angeles?

KJ: Not at all.

We are still in our launch phase, and in the process of creating a new website and full Web application which should be complete in a few months. Once this aspect is complete, we will be ready to take-off.

We will begin as a domestic network in Southern California and quickly move to other metropolitan areas in the United States, including New York City, Miami, Dallas and more.

We are striving to be the entity that provides domestic and international patients with the essential healthcare information, including databases about conditions and recovery time.

We want patients to involve their own personal physician in all aspects of care, whether it is domestic or international, because this is where we find that the follow-up care falls through.

Our elevated patient model will help domestically located physicians become more involved in the medical travel process. We want the physicians who think of international medical tourism as competition to instead look at this level of care as a complement to their services.

MTT: How can patients find your company?

KJ: They will be able to find us online through marketing ads.

We are not completely active yet, but all of the foundation is being put in place for a very prominent social media presence.

MTT: What is your vision for the overall medical travel industry?

KJ: I believe the entire medical travel industry, both domestic and international, needs to develop a better strategy in terms of before, during and after care coordination.

Global medical travel is here to stay, and if healthcare providers want to continue to give their patients expert care, they need to embrace the industry and welcome the opportunity to be involved in that process.

MTT: I agree, but the credibility factor has been so poor.

KJ: Credibility provides a direct correlation to outcomes, and in the United States, hospitals are ranked based on outcomes.

We are now in a consumer-driven healthcare system, and will be moving forward.

Comprehensive care, as it applies to the consumer experience, will be what advances or hinders this industry.

MTT: What is your advice to the consumers who wish to engage in medical travel?

KJ: Today, too many individuals base important decisions on a company's website.

I think it is so important that patients directly communicate, in dialogue and conversation, with the personnel of a company to get a better feel for the level of care they will receive.

Industry News

7 Reasons to Choose Turkey as the Best Destination for Hair Transplantation

Placidway.com - Since 1952, when Dr. Norman Orentreich performed the first successful hair transplantation procedure in New York, the cosmetic procedure has restored not only the appearance, but also the self-confidence of millions of men and women all over the world.

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery in 2010, there were 923,599 hair restoration procedures performed globally. From this number, 672,391 procedures were non-surgical, while 251,208 were surgical. What it is worth mentioning is the fact that from 2004 to 2011 the number of hair transplant procedures has increased by 454 percent in the Middle East and by 345 percent in Asia.

The hair restoration industry has an astonishing market size figure of more than $1.88 billion. Men are the ones who resort to this procedure the most, accounting for almost 86 percent of all patients. The hair transplant procedures can be divided into scalp procedures and non-scalp procedures (eyebrow, eyelash and facial transplantation).

The main point here is that hair transplantation procedures are continuously increasing in popularity worldwide. One of the toughest players in this $ 1 billion industry is Turkey. At the crossroads between Asia and Europe, Turkey has a strategic position attracting tourists from both these regions, plus North Africa and Middle East. But geographical advantage is not all the country has on its side.

Turkey has made tremendous progress in modernizing its medical infrastructure, adding the latest technological equipment, and its physicians are at the forefront of many branches of medicine thanks to their intensive training and experience gathered abroad. The medical facilities in Turkey often equal and even surpass international medical standards. The country has the highest number of JCI-accredited hospitals after the United States, an advantage which ensures quality standards and global safety. Besides all these, Turkey also offers competitive prices, compared to its overseas rivals.

Seven Reasons to Choose Turkey for Hair Transplantation

1. Competitive price

The price for this procedure is one-third or more compared to the ones in Europe. If in Europe and the United States, one would pay between $7,000-$25,000 for hair transplant using the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) method. Prices in Turkey vary between $2,200 and $7,000 depending on the complexity of the procedure, the number of grafts needed, the method chosen, the clinic and the surgeon. No matter what the price is, patients could save up to 80 percent for this procedure coming to Turkey.

2. Minimally invasive procedure

The method adopted by surgeons here is the FUE method, which is non-surgical, bloodless, faster and painless compared to the FUT method which implies the removal of the skin. FUE is a minimally invasive hair transplant technique in which follicular units are individually removed from the patient's donor area and transplanted one by one to the thinning area.

3. Quality equipment and successful methods

Turkish surgeons offer high-quality and highly-successful hair transplantation. They operate in state-of-the-art medical centers, using modern equipment and methods improved over the years to ensure patients receive the best hair restoration methods and patient care available in Europe and Asia.

4. Benefits offered to the patients

To attract patients, Turkey also provides its patients several perks such as free airport-hotel transportation, free air tickets, free accommodation at some hotels, etc.

5. Surgeons with years of experience in the field

With years of experience and positive results, Turkey has won the patients' trust and confidence. Turkey has many experienced surgeons in the field of hair restoration and has access to the most advanced technologies and treatment techniques.

6. No waiting lists

There are no waiting lists. If in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, or in the United States, the waiting lists for hair transplant could make the patient wait even several months to get the procedure, in Turkey there are no waiting lists because the country offers many high-quality and JCI-accredited clinics.

7. Unique culture and hospitality

Turkey also attracts medical tourists with its unique culture and hospitality. In 2012 Turkey welcomed around 30 million tourists, from which 100,000 were medical tourists coming for cosmetic surgical procedures. Although many of them came for liposuction, rhinoplasty and thermal spas, according to statistics, the real money is in the hair transplant procedures.

Among the best clinics and hospitals for hair transplant in Turkey are Ethica Medical Group Estethica Surgery Medical Center, Estetik International Health Group, AEK Hair Institute and Cevre Private Hospital.

One could say that Turkey is a real gold mine for hair transplantation, giving back self-confidence to hair loss sufferers from around the world. Although it's a billion-dollar industry, for only several thousand dollars patients can have their hair back with minimal downtime.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Mercy Starts Construction on Nation's First Virtual Care Center

Mercy.net- Mercy officially broke ground on the first virtual care center in the United States, marking another milestone in the health system's promise to transform healthcare. 

"Telemedicine lets us provide the best possible care to people where and when they need it - even when patients wouldn't otherwise have access to specialists, such as neurologists and pediatric cardiologists," said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and CEO. "The center will bring together the nation's best telehealth professionals to reach more patients, develop more telemedicine services and improve how we deliver virtual care through education and innovation."

The four-story, 120,000-square-foot center located in Chesterfield, Missouri, will open in 2015 and accommodate nearly 300 physicians, nurses, specialists, researchers and support staff. Care will be delivered 24/7 via audio, video and data connections to locations across Mercy, as well as outside of Mercy through partnerships with other healthcare providers and large employers. Mercy estimates that the center will manage more than three million telehealth visits in the next five years. The center also will be a hub for advancing telemedicine through research and training.

"There's a decreasing number of physicians in both rural and urban areas, while at the same time there's a growing senior population that will require more care," said Dr. Tom Hale, executive medical director of Mercy's telehealth services. "Telemedicine will have a significant impact by letting virtual physicians and nurses be the first point of triage and care for patients in the hospital, emergency room or even at home. Mercy's virtual care frees up physicians while also attending to patients faster than before, and our specialists bring a level of expertise that would be impossible to share without telemedicine."

Representing an investment of approximately $50 million in development, the new facility will serve as the command center for all of Mercy's telemedicine programs - a growing list that includes the nation's largest single-hub electronic ICU (eICU) and features more than 75 other services, including:

  • SafeWatch eICU - Using in-room, two-way audio, video and computer connections, Mercy doctors and nurses provide around-the-clock monitoring of a hospital's ICU patients. These critical-care specialists use high-tech tools to identify abnormalities, uncover potential problems and assist with care when a patient's attending physician is not in the ICU.
  • Telestroke - Many community emergency rooms (ER) across the country don't have a neurologist on hand. With Mercy's telestroke program, patients who come to the ER with symptoms of a stroke can be seen immediately by not only an emergency room doctor, but by telestroke neurologists who are on call and available day or night via telemedicine to help diagnose the patient and order life-saving stroke medication if necessary.
  • Pediatric Telecardiology - In recent years, due to the lack of technology and distance of patients to a Mercy facility, it sometimes required a week or more to get results of an echocardiogram (images of the heart). A virtual pediatric cardiology team minimizes turnaround time for patients, producing results in 24 hours or less. 
  • Telesepsis - Mercy's electronic health record automatically searches for more than 800 warning signs to identify patients at risk for sepsis and alerts doctors, so they can move aggressively to prevent it.
  • Teleradiology - A remote radiology medical team provides nonstop support to radiology groups to minimize turnaround times for patients and maximize productivity.
  • Telepathology - Available at all hours, an online pathology medical team can quickly provide general and specific diagnostic services.
  • Nurse-on-call - Experienced registered nurses provide 24/7 health advice with this nationwide telephone triage service.
  • Home Monitoring - Mercy provides continuous monitoring for more than 1,000 patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure, reducing hospitalization and readmissions, as well as helping them live independently for longer.

"With a decade of telemedicine experience behind us, Mercy is now a recognized leader in this vital healthcare field," said Britton. "We've pioneered a telehealth plan that no longer limits advanced care because of age, illness or geography. We can deliver a higher level of care to more people, and the virtual care center is at the heart of it - providing care for today while also developing the healthcare of tomorrow."

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Florida Medical Tourism
by Adel Eldin, M.D.

Recognize Florida Medical Tourism as we celebrate our second anniversary serving global clients for inbound and outbound traffic as your favorite global HUB for medical tourism. We appreciate your trust in us and we will do our very best to give you a top notch medical tourism experience, mixed with universal values of compassionate care. We offer the best competitive pricing, services and with the most trusted providers globally. We provide unique culture-sensitive medicine as well as customized services that would fit everybody's personal needs and goals (whether an individual employer or corporate self-pay or self-insurance).

We also offer a spend-a-day-in-Tampa package with our $999 special:

We can arrange flight, accommodation and sightseeing for you as well.
- Save thousands of dollars over the cost of traditional medicine.

Come and enjoy the sunshine that is unique to Florida along with unique services in mixing wellness and medical tourism, as well as having the leisure of travel. This will be an ultimate package that is offered uniquely by Florida medical tourism.

In addition to that, we offer telemedicine services for an honest second opinion from the comfort of your home or office, and thus obviate the hassle of getting a visa and traveling all the way to the United States. You simply get a world-class service from the comfort of your home or office online in both English and Arabic languages and, including also for the first time, Woman's Health consultation to provide privacy and comfort for our female patients in both English and Arabic languages!

1.       https://www.floridamedicaltourism.com/tele-medicine/dr-eldin-eclinic.html
2.       https://www.floridamedicaltourism.com/tele-medicine/dr-eldin-econsult.html
3.       https://www.floridamedicaltourism.com/tele-medicine/dr-zaher-eclinic.html

We invite everyone to visit our website www.floridamedicaltourism.com. We will be happy to answer any questions about our services or offer any help to you among the previous mentioned services.

Now, the mobile version of www.floridamedicaltourism.com is live, so any client anywhere in the world can use utilize our telemedicine services, available in English and Arabic, which includes women's health consultations done by Dr Zaher. Women across the globe can access her care through her eClinic, again in English and Arabic.

Clients can also take advantage of the Summer Vacation Special, which is a 50 percent discount off of the original price of the Wellness Tourism Package.

Please feel free to contact us at info@floridamedicaltourism.com  or call toll free 1-877-DRELDIN and we look forward to hearing from you, serving you and making a great long-lasting, positive medical tourism experience with your favorite global HUB floridalmedicaltourism.com.

Industry News

World's Largest Self-Insurance/ART Event Coming to Phoenix!

The Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) today announced the program for its National Educational Conference & Expo, scheduled for October 5-7, 2014, at the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The event typically attracts more than 1,700 attendees from throughout the United States and from a growing number of countries around the world.

Detailed event information, including registration forms, can be accessed on-line at www.siia.org, or by calling 800/851-7789. Sign up today and take advantage of discounted early bird registration fees and secure your room at the host hotel. NOTE: This hotel is a SIIA member favorite and always sells out early, so please keep this in mind as you make your arrangements.

The program features more than 40 educational sessions designed to help employers and their business partners identify and maximize the value of self-insurance solutions.

We'll cover self-insured group health plans from every angle, including plan design and cost containment, financial risk transfer, broker involvement and healthcare reform compliance. Extra content has been incorporated this year that should be of specific interest to TPA executives and their key management teams. And you won't want to miss our panel discussion sessions featuring top thought leaders talking about the future of the self-insurance marketplace.

Another focus will be stop-loss captive programs (also known as employee benefit group captives). An increasing number of smaller and mid-sized employers have been considering self-insured group health plans and stop-loss captive programs can help facilitate this transition. SIIA has become the recognized industry leader in this fast-growing captive insurance market niche and the session speakers for this topic area will be many of the industry's top experts.

Also within the Alternative Risk Transfer track, additional sessions will focus on Enterprise Risk Captives, also known as 831(b) captives, which have become an increasingly popular self-insurance solution for many companies.

Given the rapidly involving business and regulatory environment for group workers' compensation self-insured funds (SIGs), we have incorporated a series of roundtable sessions where SIG leaders from around the country will provide a unique opportunity to share perspectives on how their organization should be positioning themselves for future success. These SIG-focused roundtables will be supplemented by additional timely sessions of interest to both groups and individual workers' compensation self-insurers.

Rounding out the program will be some sessions addressing key self-insured issues, including healthcare reform compliance requirements, for companies with global operations and/or workforces, giving the conference an added international flavor.

This top notch educational program will be supplemented with quality networking events, including an exhibit hall with more than 150 companies showcasing a wide variety of innovative products and services designed specifically for self-insured entities. If you are searching for a self-insurance business partner, they will be waiting for you at this event. For more information about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Justin Miller at 800/851-7789, or jmiller@siia.org.

Your can get a head start on your networking by participating in the conference golf tournament the morning of Sunday, October 5. And then cap things off with an incredible social event on the closing night of Tuesday, October 7, so be sure that you make your travel arrangements accordingly.

New to Self-Insurance/Alternative Risk Transfer? SIIA Welcomes You!....While the conference will be packed with industry experts and many advanced-level educational sessions, SIIA warmly welcomes those who are new to self-insurance/alternative risk transfer and want to learn the basics. To help you get started, we have scheduled "beginner" sessions immediately before Sunday night's welcome reception to help you more fully participate in the overall event. Additionally, for employers (non-industry service providers) considering self-insurance, you can take advantage of a highly discounted registration fee.

If self-insurance is important to you in any way, this is simply a must-attend event. We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix.

Register Now: www.siia.org/national

Industry News

SIIA Panel Discussion: Domestic Medical Travel - Opportunities and Challenges for Self-Insured Employers

Description: While international medical travel has been highly publicized over the past several years, domestic medical travel has been more quietly gaining traction among a growing number self-insured employers. This panel discussion will explore the latest trends in domestic medical travel and what employers need to consider when evaluating whether to incorporate this strategy as part of their health plans.

Moderator: Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher:  National and International Newsletters
U.S. Domestic Medical Travel:  www.USDomesticMedicalTravel.com
Medical Travel Today:  www.MedicalTravelToday.com
Panelists: Ruth Coleman, CEO, Health Design Plus
G. Keith Smith, M.D., CEO, Surgery Center of Oklahoma
Olivia Ross, Senior Manager, Employers Centers of Excellence Network,
Pacific Business Group on Health

About Ruth Coleman

Prior to founding Health Design Plus in 1988, Ms. Ruth Coleman had almost 20 years of experience in HMO and hospital management, patient care, and nursing education. Her experience includes several executive HMO and hospital management positions with responsibility for network development, utilization management, customer service, quality management, marketing, strategic planning, and operations. Coleman used this breadth of managed care and care delivery experience to create an organization that provides high quality management for employer sponsored health benefit plans.

Her experience, expertise and leadership have guided Health Design Plus through incredible growth, recognized by numerous awards, including the prestigious Inc. 500 and eleven consecutive years as part of the Weatherhead 100, along with being named one of the Top Ten Women Business Owners in Northeast Ohio, and a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

About G. Keith Smith, M.D.

G. Keith Smith, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Okla., owned by 40 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma. Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice.

In 2009, Dr. Smith launched a website displaying all-inclusive pricing for various surgical procedures, a move that has gained him and the facility national and even international attention. Many Canadians and uninsured Americans have been treated at his facility, taking advantage of the low and transparent pricing available.
Operation of this free-market medical practice, arguably the only one of its kind in the U.S., has gained the endorsement of policymakers and legislators nationally. More and more self-funded insurance plans are taking advantage of Dr. Smith's pricing model, resulting in significant savings to their employee health plans. His hope is for as many facilities as possible to adopt a transparent pricing model, a move he believes will lower costs for all and improve quality of care.

The Surgery Center of Oklahoma is a 32,535 square-foot, state-of-the-art multispecialty facility in Oklahoma City, owned and operated by approximately 40 of the top surgeons and anesthesiologists in central Oklahoma.

If you have a high deductible or are part of a self-insured plan at a large company, you owe it to yourself or your business to take a look at our facility and pricing which is listed on the site. If you are considering a trip to a foreign country to have your surgery, you should look here first. Finally, if you have no insurance at all, this facility will provide quality and pricing that we believe are unmatched.

It is no secret to anyone that the pricing of surgical services is at the top of the list of problems in our dysfunctional healthcare system. Bureaucracy at the insurance and hospital levels, cost shifting and the absence of free market principles are among the culprits for what has caused surgical care in the U.S. to be cost-prohibitive. As more and more patients find themselves paying more out-of-pocket, it is clear that something must change. We believe that a very different approach is necessary, one involving transparent and direct pricing.

Transparent, direct package pricing means the patient knows exactly what the cost of the service will be upfront.

About Olivia Ross

Olivia Ross is Senior Manager with the PBGH New Initiatives team. Her projects include management of the Employers Centers of Excellence Network, which is a multi-purchaser (employer) collaborative established by PBGH as part of its commitment to improving the quality and affordability of health care. Additionally, Olivia participates in several on-going projects focused on changing physician and hospital financial incentives to ensure high-quality health care delivery, while also containing costs.

Olivia joined PBGH in 2012 after four years at the Feinberg School of Medicine Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University. She initially served as Project Coordinator for several programs working with the Chicago Pediatric Patient Safety Consortium to advance patient safety through improved clinician communication and teamwork. Olivia's activities included conducting failure modes effects analysis (FMEA) risk assessments, training and evaluation of clinician handoffs and directing nearly 50 in situ simulations across six local hospitals

Olivia was then recruited to serve as the Research Project Manager of the newly formed Northwestern University Transplantation Outcomes Research Collaborative (NUTORC). In addition to managing patient safety projects, she supported strategic planning and oversaw the day-to-day operation of a group tasked with creating innovative health services and outcomes research in organ transplantation.

Olivia holds a Master in Public Health (MPH) from UCLA, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Industry News

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Healthcare System Compares Internationally
by Karen Davis, Kristof Stremikis, David Squires and Cathy Schoen

The United States healthcare system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the United States underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Medical Tourism Attracting Tourists To Dubai
by George Nielson

Since Dubai is already a leading destination for leisure and tourism and has world-class health facilities and internationally accredited hospitals, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) held a meeting last week with stakeholders from the medical tourism initiative to discuss the possibility of turning the proposed medical tourism initiative into a reality.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Why Waste Your Healthcare Dollars In The United States?
by Debra Axness

I'm a U.S. citizen who spent most of the last year in Columbia, where I sought medical treatment for my cancer. At the time, as an uninsured and uninsurable patient, I knew I had two choices when I was diagnosed: get treatment in the United States and face probably bankruptcy, or go somewhere else.

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Cost of Healthcare: A Country-by-Country Comparison 

Vitals presents an in depth comparison on how different country's healthcare policies and expenses relate to their overall nation's health. Visit: http://www.vitals.com/about/resources/whitepapers/cost-burden-of-medical-care#.U6hGAxYb13Y 

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.

Industry News


Upcoming Events

The Health Tourism Show


July 10-12, 2014 - The Health Tourism Show
To learn more or to register click here.

IBMS Medical Mini Conference


July 28-August 2, 2014 - Bogotá, Colombia
To learn more or to register click here.

Ap14Singapore Conference


August 1-3, 2014 - Village Hotel Albert Court, Singapore
To learn more or to register click here.

6th Regional Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine


August 2-6, 2014 - Jackson Hole, Wyoming
To learn more or to register click here.

Hospital Management Asia 2014


August 28-29, 2014 - Radisson Blu Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair Asia 2014


September 9-11, 2014 - Suntec Singapore, Singapore
To learn more or to register click here.

8th Annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit


September 10-12, 2014 - Four Seasons Resort Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco
To learn more or to register click here.

10th International Health Asia Exhibition & Conferences 2014


September 16-18, 2014 - Karachi Expo Center, Karachi, Pakistan
To learn more or to register click here.

10th International Exposition and Conference for Medical Tourism, Spa & Health


September 16-19, 2014 - Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.


September 20-21, 2014 - Tishinka Exhibition Centre, Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

7th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress

September 20-24, 2014 - Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Washington D.C.
To learn more or to register click here.

34th Annual SIIA National Educational Conference & Expo

October 5-7, 2014 - J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ
To learn more or to register click here.

IMF International Medical Forum and Spa & Wellness: Healthcare Travel Expo


October 14-16, 2014 - EC KyivExpoPlaza, Kyiv, Ukraine
To learn more or to register click here.

Mexico Summit on Medical & Wellness Tourism Business


October 22-24, 2014 - Reynosa, Mexico
To learn more or to register click here.

Health Tourism Expo Turkey


October 23-25, 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Asia


November 5-7, 2014 - Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
To learn more or to register click here.

IHC Forum West 2014


December 4-5, 2014 - Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada
To learn more or to register click here.

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress


January 26-29, 2015 - Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair India


March 21-23, 2015 - Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India
To learn more or to register click here.

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015


March 23-25, 2015 - Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.
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

Painful and Rapid Spread of New Virus in Caribbean

News.yahoo.com-They suffer searing headaches, a burning fever and so much pain in their joints they can barely walk or use their hands. It's like having a terrible flu combined with an abrupt case of arthritis.

Coup Threatens Thailand's Hold as Top Destination for Medical Tourism

Theage.com.au-Thailand is in danger of losing its crown as the world's top destination for medical tourism if foreigners looking for low-cost, quality healthcare are scared off by political unrest, especially at a time of growing competition from Asian rivals.

Indian Doctors Come Home to Medical Tourism Hub

Main.omanobserver.om-Patients Beyond Borders, a U.S. medical travel resource, says the cost of certain Indian medical procedures can be up to 90 percent lower than in the United States, making it one of the cheapest places for treatment.

The Business of Outpatient Spine

Outpatientsurgery.net-Opportunities still abound in outpatient spine, but they have a warning label attached. "This isn't the old outpatient surgery game of 15 years ago, where as long as you got the cases, you were going to make a lot of money," says Sanjit Mahnati, M.H.A., chief hospital business officer at Keck Hospital of USC in Los Angeles. "It's a business where you have to manage all the parts and pieces of it."

Healthcare Prices Vary Across the U.S.

Fiercehealthpayer.com-The Cost for the same service varies greatly across the 30 most populous U.S. cities, according to a new analysis from Castlight Health.

The analysis focused on costs paid through employer-sponsored benefits for common outpatient services, including a liquid panel, a CT scan, an MRI and an adult preventative primary care visit.

Healthy Travel Media Launches Third Edition of Patients Beyond Borders

Prweb.com-Healthy Travel Media, publishers of Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody's Guide to Affordable, World-Class Medical Travel, today announced publication of the updated and expanded Third Edition of the world's best-selling consumer guide to medical tourism and international health travel.


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.