compiled by Maria Lenhart
New Bali Hospital Teams Up with Marriott Courtyard
Indonesia’s BIMC Hospital Group formed a partnership with the Courtyard by Marriott Bali to provide the country’s first-ever medical tourism packages for inbound travelers. The hotel, which is located in Bali’s Nusa Dua resort complex, is offering aftercare services for the adjacent BIMC Hospital, which opened on May 5. The new 50-bed, internationally managed hospital offers advanced dialysis treatments, surgical and non-surgical medical cosmetic procedures and dental care.
The Courtyard by Marriott Bali implemented planning and training for its new services well in advance of the hospital’s opening, according to Jeff Tyler, general manager. “We carefully looked at services that aid in recuperation such as special diets, unique spa and wellness programs, as well as ensuring wheel chair access to all areas of the property,” he said.
Growing the medical tourism market was identified as a key goal for Indonesia, said Mari Elka Pangestu, the country’s Minister of Tourism, during opening ceremonies for the new hospital. “I hope that in the coming year we will have a road map for health tourism. A main factor that must be addressed is making medical service in Indonesia meet international standards in order to attract foreign tourists.”
Healthcare City Planned for Cayman Islands
The first phase of a proposed $2 billion “healthcare city” is expected to break ground on the east end of Grand Cayman Island in August with the building of a 140-bed hospital. The entire 2,000-bed complex, to be built over 15 years, will include a tertiary care hospital, an educational facility, a biotech park and an assisted living facility.
Plans for the complex underscore the Caribbean islands’ potential as medical tourism destinations, according to Elizabeth Ziemba, president of Medical Tourism Training.
“The Caribbean countries have a geographical advantage in that they are easily accessible to people from the U.S., Central and South America, and enjoy large numbers of visitors from Europe as well,” she said. “Few islands have captured the full potential of medical travel to their countries, but the Cayman Islands have stepped into a leadership position in the region.”
Baby Boomers Dominate Med Tourism Market
“I would tend to say that 80 percent or more of the people using medical tourism are Baby Boomers. The bulk of utilization happens with Baby Boomers just because they’re at an age where they need more intervention.” – Rajesh Rao, CEO, IndUSHealth, a medical travel program provider for patients and employer healthcare plans.
Grand Bahama Island Eyes Medical Tourism
Grand Bahama Island has plans to become a major medical tourism destination for US travelers, according to a report in the Nassau Guardian. Noting the island’s proximity to the US, Ian Fair, chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, said one or two announcements of new medical tourism facilities will be made in the near future.
Anticipated projects include plans by Rand Memorial Hospital to redevelop the newly acquired Island Palm Hotel and incorporate it into a hospital complex, providing hotel rooms and other facilities for medical tourism, Herbert Brown, managing director of the Bahamas’ Public Hospital Authority, told the Guardian.
Research Report Indicates Medical Tourism Boom for India
India is poised for significant growth as a medical and wellness destination for global travelers, according to a research report by RNCOS, Booming Medical Tourism in India. “India’s wellness industry is valued at more than US $2.2 billion at present and is anticipated to grow by 35 to 40 percent during the next few years,” the report stated. Some of India’s major healthcare facilities are planning to set up spas in their hospitals.
The report identified wellness facilities, meditation programs, holistic medicine and competitive pricing as factors contributing to the success potential of Indian medical tourism. “India, with its kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage, boasts unique medicinal forms, which look at health, disease and causes of disease in a completely different manner,” the report stated.
India’s approach to medicine incorporates a focus on “holistic health and well-being of humans,” the report noted. “The demand for such a treatment approach and related medicines is increasing both in the domestic market as well as internationally.” India is also a growing destination for traditional medical treatments, particularly cardiac and orthopedic procedures, according to the report.