Medical tourism news - June 2009

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Josef D. Woodman joins Satori World Medical's Strategic Advisory Board

Renowned medical tourism expert Josef D. Woodman has joined the Strategic Advisory Board of Satori World Medical. Satori World Medical is a global healthcare company that specializes in the rapidly booming medical tourism industry. Woodman will advise top management on strategy and tactics. "Satori World Medical is one of the best global health care programs that I have seen. I am particularly impressed with Satori's Quality Assurance Program and its unique financial sharing model, which provides a measurable shared economic incentive for all program participants", said Woodman. Woodman has spent the last three years touring hundreds of medical facilities in 14 countries to study trends in medical tourism. For more on Woodman and Satori World Medical, click the link below:

Monday, 29 June 2009

Major medical tourism congress predicts major growth in industry

Experts at this year's Healthcare Travel Exhibition & Congress in Singapore predicted that the industry would grow from $56 billion a year to $100 billion per year by 2012. Experts cite success stories from early medical tourists, and the continuing rising cost of health care in developed nations like the US and UK as factors helping the industry. Also cited is the increase in travel possibilities. Mr. Andrew Keable, Divisional Director of Informa Life Sciences, said, "This differential cost, coupled with today's sophisticated travel industry, provides an excellent catalyst to the growth of medical tourism." The Healthcare Travel Exhibition & Congress began on June 28 and finishes on June 30. For more information on the predicted growth, click on the link below:

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Korean council to sponsor world's largest medical tourism conference

The Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion (CKMP) has announced that they will be the premier Diamond Sponsor for this year's World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress. CKMP is made up of over 30 hospitals and specialty clinics in Korea with the purpose of promoting the Korean market internationally and developing safe and reliable infrastructure in health care. The World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress brings together some of the worlds best hospitals, insurance companies, and medical tourism facilitators for networking purposes. The congress will be held October 26-28 in Los Angeles, California, USA. For more information about this announcement, click the link below:

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Taiwan trying to turn Chinese tourists into medical tourists

3,000 people from mainland China visit Taiwan everyday, leading officials in Taiwan to make an effort to have some of those tourists come to Taiwan specifically for medical procedures. Analysts suggest that if 10% of the Chinese tourists to Taiwan spend $600 on physical exams, it would generate $200 million annually. Costs of healthcare are significantly lower in Taiwan than mainland China giving hope to officials that they can tap into the medical tourism industry. Dr Leu Jyh-Gang, chief of Health Management Department at Shin Kong Memorial Hospital, says a "PET scan costs US$1,550 in the mainland. For the same price, Chinese visitors can have a PET scan and a five-day tour in Taiwan". For more information, click the link below:

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Costa Rica Medical Care to host medical tourism conference

Costa Rican Medical Care (CRMC), a division of HAS Clearing Corp, announced they will sponsor a medical tourism conference on October 6-7 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The conference was designed to inform people on options to save money on health care. The target market for this conference is American employee benefit advisors, human resource mangers, insurance executives, health agents, and health savings account providers. "Once people see they have other options to bring down that cost of their healthcare, they can make an educated decision", says HAS president Tim Morales. An American can save up to 70% on medical treatments in Costa Rica. For more information, click the link below:

Monday, 22 June 2009

Taiwan gets their first medical tourists from China

A group of Chinese tourists visited Taiwan for medical treatment Sunday. It marks the first time Chinese tourists have gone to Taiwan for medical purposes. The Taiwan government has recently changed their laws to allow more Chinese tourists to enter the country. One member of the 30 person group, a woman surnamed Cao, said she came because Taiwan has a reputation of higher quality healthcare than that of mainland China. She was impressed with the facilities, saying, "The medical facilities are cutting-edge and the medical personnel are kind." The group's itinerary included medical work, spa treatment, and sightseeing. For more information on the trip, click the link below:

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Californians flock to Mexico for healthcare

Residents of California are increasingly going across the border into Mexico for healthcare. In 2006, 150,000 Californians received medical treatment south of the border. Going to Mexico is a popular option among those without health insurance, but even many with health insurance are heading south because of the reduced cost. California resident Raul Duarte said, "In the case of my sister-in-law, she had cataract surgery in Mexico and paid less for the whole surgery, hospitalization and medicine than what she would've paid for a doctor's visit here in the States." For more information on the trend, click the link below:

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

India launches Indian Medical Travel Association

Hospitals, healthcare providers, travel and medical tourism providers in India have all come together to form the Indian Medical Travel Association (IMTA). Officials in India believe India is in prime position to become the world's leader in medical tourism. India has seen the addition of many private super specialty providers and integrated health care cities in their ten largest cities. With the addition of these providers and the already established reputation of India doctors, officials believe the only problem is on the marketing side. The IMTA was created to help their members promote India as a medical tourism destination in a unified voice. For more information about the IMTA, visit their website at:

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

IMTA and PATA sign Memorandum of Understanding

The International Medical Travel Association (IMTA) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in an effort to promote healthcare travel in the Pacific Asia region. The MOU has two focus areas: helping health and travel industries indentify commercial opportunities, and assisting governments and tourism authorities develop strategies to promote the industry. IMTA president, Ruben Toral, says medical tourists are the visitors countries should be targeting because "they spend more, stay longer and are more likely to return." PATA CEO agrees, saying healthcare travel is a new way to stimulate travel to Asia. For more information about the MOA, click the link below:

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Hospital in the Philippines to expand

The Medical City, a private tertiary care hospital in the Philippines, is working on a major expansion project to enter into the holistic care field. The Medical City is putting offices and outpatient clinics in shopping malls in order to create a network of satellite clinics. The Medical City currently has 500 beds, but is looking to cater to more patients, both local and foreign. Last year The Medical City began heavily targeting patients in foreign markets and plans to increase their efforts. They are looking to reach a larger clientele by hosting more forums and international road shows in The United States, the Middle East, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. For more information about The Medical City's plans, visit the link below:

Monday, 15 June 2009

Healthcare Travel Congress 2009 in Singapore from 29-30 June

Over 30 leading medical experts are set to speak at this year's Healthcare Travel Congress in Singapore on 29-30 June. The experts will discuss topics such as quality accreditation, cross-border marketing, patient care and safety, medical insurance, and strategic alliances. The theme of this year's congress is The Globalisation of Healthcare, specifically the need to expand and sustain the rapidly expanding Asia market. In addition to networking opportunities for medical professionals, the event also allows consumers seeking advice on personal healthcare to receive more information. For more information, click the link below:

Monday, 15 June 2009

Malaysia launches medical tourism website

The Malaysia Health Ministry has launched a website ( to promote medical tourism within Malaysia. Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said there was a joint effort between the public and private sector of healthcare with 35 private hospitals already working with the Malaysian government on the project. The number of foreign patients in Malaysia has increased from 39,114 in 1998 to 374,063 last year. Minister Liow hopes the medical tourism industry will also boost other tourism segments, such as hotels and transportation, leading to an overall boost to the Malaysia economy.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association speak on medical tourism

Dr. Erdal Karamercan, a member of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), believes that Turkey should look to medical tourism as a way to boost revenue. He points to successful examples in Singapore, India, and Thailand of the government working with the private sector to promote medical tourism. Reports show that medical tourists in Turkey spend and average of $8,000, which is approximately 12 times that of a general tourist. The head of TUSIAD, Meri Bahar, suggests that Turkey should set a goal of 1 million medical tourist patients and $8 billion in revenue by the year 2020.

Monday, 15 June 2009 makes its official launch launches today with a directory of over 1200 providers of essential and non-essential surgery procedures making accessing international treatment centres easier for everyone. Aimed at the growing medical tourism industry, the site provides information on the variety of surgery treatments available across 80 countries and 27 treatment areas, from the most comprehensive collection of worldwide clinics on the web. lists specialists, clinics and brokers for free on the website, so you can be safe in the knowledge that legitimate providers are included, and not just those who have paid. Uniquely it will not charge clinics for user contact off the site and does not require users to pay or register to use the site. Clinics can be featured with advanced profiles allowing them to showcase their clinic with images, video content, prices and surgeon info. The website is simple to use and enables patients to search for clinics by operation type or by country. The search filters are mutually dependent so users will never be taken to a frustrating empty results page, instead they will only ever be shown the search options for countries that carry out the procedure they are looking for, or the available procedures if searching ... Continues...

Sunday, 14 June 2009

MedTrava introduces new partnership

The MedTrava Group has announced a new partnership with Hospital Clinica Biblica in Costa Rica. MedTrava is a leading medical tourism facilitator who offers travel packages at 50-80% of the cost of similar treatments in America. Head of Hospital Clinica Biblica's International Department, Brad Cook, stated, "Our hospital offers patients a wide variety of leading-edge medical procedures and treatments at affordable prices, yet is located just two and a half hours from Miami." Hospital Clinica Biblica is accredited by Joint Commission International and considered one of the premier hospitals in Central America. For more information, click the link below:

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Refurbished airport in Malacca to boost medical tourism

The recently refurbished Malacca International Airport should increase medical tourism in Malacca, Malaysia according to Mahkota Medica Centre's chief executive, Francis Lim. Lim says that most medical tourists come to the state through other airports and have a two-hour trip into Malacca. Lim believes that the new airport will make travel easier for patients with mobility issues. He also suggests more ways for the government to cater medical tourists at the airport such as adding ambulances and wheelchairs, planting more trees for shade, improving taxi service at the hospital, and cutting down on traffic lights between the airport and the hospital. For more information, click the link below:

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Taiwan looking to China to attract more medical tourists

Officials in Taiwan are looking to the Greater China market in an effort to boost medical tourism in Taiwan. The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) was at the 2009 Hong Kong International Travel Expo, which ended June 14, to promote joining of medical tour groups to Taiwan from Hong Kong, Macau, and China. TAITRA was composed of representatives from hospitals, cosmetic surgery clinics, and hotels. They estimate the Asia market for medical tourism will be worth $4.4 billion annually by 2012.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Sema Hospital looks to attract more foreign patients to Turkey

Sema Hospital in Istanbul is shifting focus towards medical tourism in an attempt to increase revenue. Becoming the first hospital in Turkey to receive accreditation by Joint Commission International (JCI) has put Sema in an advantageous position to capitalize on the growing industry. Operating manager Sedat Erten has established a goal of increasing revenues from $30 million in 2008 to $40 million in 2009. By 2010, Sema aims to earn 15 million Euros from European patients alone. In addition to Holland, where Sema has already introduced services, they are targeting Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Tunisia, Egypt Morocco, Russia and other North African, Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Karnataka planning major medical tourism project

The southern India state of Karnataka is planning two major tourism projects, one of which focuses on medical tourism. The Karnataka government is in the planning phases of a Health City near the Bangalore International Airport. The Health City would sit on 300 acres and be a public-private joint venture. It will have specialties in neurology, cardiology, and rehabilitation centres for alcohol and drug addictions. India had close to 180,000 medical tourists in a nine-month span last year and expects that number to increase up to 25% in the next few years. The Karnataka Health City would be operational in 2-3 years. For more information, click the link below:

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Arizona Republic examines medical tourism

Phoenix, Arizona based newspaper The Arizona Republic recently examined the recent trend of medical tourism. They uncovered estimates ranging from 80,000-750,000 Americans going abroad for health care per year. Despite the large gap in estimates, nearly all experts predict larger growth in the industry. Estimates suggest that 16 million Americans will travel abroad for health care by 2015. Research suggests that cost is the primary driving factor in the decision to go abroad with some procedures available from 20-80% less than what they are in America. Another driving factor is the availability of specialized treatment not yet available in America. For more information, click the link below: