Spotlight Interview: Andres Jurado, Chief Executive Officer, My Medical Vacations

About Andres Jurado

Andrés Jurado is a medical tourism professional recognized in the Mexican Caribbean for his performance in the field. 10 years of continuous work in the area and having managed more than 3000 cases of international patients makes him one of the leading actors in health tourism in Mexico.

His company, My Medical Vacations, is distinguished by the high level of services offered to its patients, complementing medical care with first class hospitality services. This comprehensive and committed work led to be an award recipient in the 2016 edition of the Mexican Tourism Trade Show, one of the biggest in Latin America. Such award “Recognition for the diversification of the tourism product Mexican” was given by the Federal Ministry of tourism in coordination with the Tourism Board of Mexico.

About My Medical Vacations

Our job is to provide the link or bridge to the patient from the home country and destination country. We take care of logistics and, in many ways, peace of mind. We take care of airport pickup and drop-off, communication with both the clinic and medical professionals that will care for you, hotel and recovery center accommodations, transportation to and from medical appointments, pre-travel requirements, communication with your family if requested and follow-up care upon arrival home to ensure that you had a positive experience. We take you through every step of your journey and help with the adaptation to being in another country. We act on your behalf every step of the way and ensure you are taken care of during your medical tourism experience. Visit us at mymedicalvacations.com.

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Medical Travel & Digital Health News (MTDH): How is Cancun? How are you surviving the COVID-19 pandemic?

Andres Jurado (AJ): This destination is focused entirely on traditional tourism. Usually the summer is one of our highest seasons, but this year it was at a 22% occupancy rate in the hotels, when it’s usually overflowing. In general, we have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, just like every other destination.

But we thought it was going to be far more difficult than it has been because, surprisingly, our patients looking for elective procedures have wanted to go forward. Many of them found some amazing deals with flights and hotels, and they said that it was the best time for them to do it, including financially.

We established a protocol that was designed by the Health Ministry here in Mexico, in conjunction with every council of every specialty.

MTDH: What procedures are most popular?

AJ: Our dental, cosmetic, bariatric, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology and imaging have been very popular. We also take special requests, for example, virtual endoscopy and cataract surgery.

MTDH: So which hospitals are they going to? Are you familiar with the North American Specialty Hospital (NASH) model?

AJ: I am familiar with the NASH model and we are trying to work in conjunction with them to give their patients the complete experience.

We arrange all the logistics for the patients, such as hotel and transportation. We have our own team of registered nurses who visit the patients every day and stay in touch with the doctors. We provide more personalized attention, which helps to reduce complications or negative situations.

MTDH: Do you find that you’re getting patients from other areas of the world besides the U.S.?

AJ: Yes, we have patients from Germany, New Zealand and Australia, but most of our patients are from the United States and Canada. We seeopportunity in providing elective procedures, which are getting more expensive in the United States because they must apply these COVID-19 protocols, as do we.

In our case, it’s an increase between $500 to $1,000 for safety protocols, which includes testing. Many U.S. surgeons aren’t performing surgeries now, which has reduced capacity and put elective surgeries on hold until further notice.

Some patients have come to us for emergency surgeries because of this. One patient who had surgery for a broken leg needed plates in her leg to be removed because they were eroding a bone. That’s an example of people who are stuck with no solutions in the United States.

We also started seeing requests for OB-GYN services, which we’ve never seen before, and we’ve had three patients for hernia repair because no physicians were available where the patients live.

Other medical tourism organizations shut down, but we’ve done the opposite and have put that much more effort into accommodating patients.

MTDH: Are you working directly with any employers in the United States or simply doing direct to consumer?

AJ: So far, it’s direct to consumer. We have our own online marketing platform, including social media, to generate prospective patients. We also have a contract with a few other sites that also generate prospective patients. All of our doctors and specialists are available for telemedicine as well.

MTDH: When the COVID-19 vaccine has reached everyone, do you expect a big ramp up again?

AJ: Yes. I think we’re going to see traditional care and specialties. The situation with healthcare in the United States has opened a few eyes and more patients will be more willing to leave the country for care.

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