• International Medical Travel Journal

    Courtesy Of IMTJ - International Medical Travel Journal

  • Courtesy Of IMTJ - International Medical Travel Journal

  • Courtesy Of IMTJ - International Medical Travel Journal

USA: Obama promises healthcare reform

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:56:54 GMT

Long-term problems in US healthcare have been a driving force in Americans going overseas for treatment. Many agencies and overseas hospitals have based business plans on this continuing and increasing. If President Obama succeeds in the most dramatic reform of the US healthcare system for forty years, things could change dramatically. Senator Edward Kennedy aims to push Obama’s main domestic priority through Congress. The goal is to provide insurance to most of the nation’s 50 million uninsured, and lower the soaring cost of care. The legislation would require all Americans to have health insurance, prohibit insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions and place other restrictions on the industry including prohibiting insurers from denying coverage or charging more due to medical history. Insurers would be required to cover some preventive services. Annual or lifetime limits on coverage would be prohibited. There would be a sliding scale of federal subsidies for mid- to low-income families to help them purchase insurance. It would establish online exchanges, gateways where the uninsured and employees of small companies could shop for affordable insurance policies. Reinsurance funding would be provided for plans participating in the gateway. A new medical advisory council would establish minimum benefit levels for companies participating in the gateways. Millions of people would become eligible for state Medicaid health plans for the poor. People with incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level would be able to get Medicaid. Incentives would be created for employers who automatically enrol workers into offered health plans. Kennedy has held back on two provisions that are being negotiated with Republicans, creation of a government-run program to compete with private insurers and a requirement that all employers provide health benefits to workers. Republicans continue to speak out against the idea of a public option. Democrats want the proposed new public plan to be an option offered in exchanges. Senator Conrad is circulating a proposal as middle ground on the public option issue. His plan would create non-profit cooperatives that would offer insurance policies to compete with private insurers. The cooperatives would be controlled by their members, not the government, and would be subjected to the same rules as private companies. Obama has called on Congress to pass legislation by October to overhaul the $2.5 trillion healthcare system, aiming to cut costs and ensure that millions of Americans now without health insurance get coverage. The goal is to have new measures from 2010. Democrats say a public plan that competes with private insurers is the only way to contain costs and keep premiums low. Republicans and insurers argue that it would drive insurance companies out of business and lead to an entirely government-run U.S. healthcare system. It is almost certain that the Democratic-controlled Congress will pass legislation, but nobody is betting what The American Health Choices Act will look like. The public plan is probably a dispensable stalking horse to force the insurance and health industries to accept change. Until this is all settled, few US insurers or businesses are going to consider adding insured or employer paid medical tourism to employee benefits.


UAE: Middle East should promote medical tourism carefully

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:56:06 GMT

While medical and health tourism within and to the Middle East is expanding, travel agents have been warned to be cautious. At a recent conference in the region, Dr Prem Jagyasi of Dubai medical tourism consultancy ExHealth, said travel agents looking to take advantage of the opportunity needed to be aware of the many challenges involved in healthcare travel. Healthcare providers are highly monitored; you have to ask how do you promote your services; what are patients’ needs and can you assure them on all pre-operation and post-operation needs? How do you identify the good healthcare providers? Do you charge the patient or the provider? According to UAE medical tourism agency Galavantor Middle East’s Rose Ann Shetty, there were other challenges for companies entering into the medical sector, Creating awareness among local insurance companies to cover overseas surgeries and advertising due to the MOH restrictions is our biggest challenge. Shetty also advised agencies looking to enter the medical tourism sector to be aware of the legal implications of sending a patient across borders. Hospitals are answerable to the law in their country and UAE laws will not apply. Due to the technical nature of so many aspects of medical tourism, both Shetty and Dr Jagyasi said it was important to be a specialist in the field, and it was dangerous to dabble in the sector. Shetty added, Specialist agencies spend considerable time undertaking due diligence and compliance audits on hospitals and surgeons to ensure their clients receive the highest standards of treatment and medical care. Dr Jagyasi suggests that the UAE has all the right elements in place for medical tourism, "The UAE has already the right infrastructure in place with the Dubai Healthcare City, Shaikh Khalifa Medical City and other private healthcare providers. There is an opportunity for medical tourism in the UAE with the GCC as the target market but the country has to build lots of trust in the healthcare system. For the UAE medical tourism to become a success, it is imperative to identify the hospitals that will promote medical tourism and what services they offer. In addition, promote services that are not covered by health insurance such as hair restoration, plastic surgery, dental treatment, cosmetic surgery, spa treatment, and where people can easily travel before and after the treatment." Dr Mehmet Hizarci of CFA International Consulting, takes up the theme, First and foremost, we should stop sending patients outside the UAE." Shetty sees potential for the UAE as an inbound medical tourism destination, with Galavantor offering inbound services by the end of the third quarter of 2009.However, Shetty added the inbound medical market to Dubai would not be anywhere near as big as the government envisioned, The two major hurdles are quality and high price. While facilities are excellent in the UAE, there is a serious lack of qualified and experienced medical workforce. It is not enough to have been educated in the West, specialists need to have experience and proven, successful track records.


TURKEY: Emerging Medical Tourism in Turkey

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:55:49 GMT

Research group RNCOS says in its new report, Emerging Medical Tourism in Turkey, that despite the sluggish world economy, the industry witnessed impressive growth of around 40 percent in 2008 over the same period in 2007. Last year, the country received around 200,000 foreign medical tourists. The study provides an in-depth analysis of the present and future prospects of the country in the medical travel arena, delving into the operations of key players such as The World Eye Hospital, Memorial Hospital, Anadolu Medical Center and Sanatolia Care. Growth has been fuelled by a cost advantage. In Turkey, fees for treatments range from one-half to as little as one-fifth the price in Europe and other developed countries. Its strategic location between Asia and Europe makes it accessible to travellers, and the capital Istanbul boasts good air connectivity. Turkey has proven especially attractive to European medical visitors, who are avid patrons of its spas. To promote these further, the tourism ministry has listed 17 registered thermal spa resorts with mud bath facilities, but there are an estimated thousand more unregistered.


GREECE: Health tourism potential for Evia

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:55:18 GMT

To save you rapidly looking for an atlas, Evia is the second largest island in Greece after Crete. The main gateway to the island from mainland Greece is at Halkida, only a ninety-minute drive from Athens. Though Evia is indeed an island, due to the close proximity it has with mainland Greece, as well as the connection available by   bridge and ferries, there is a sense that is part of Greece. Evia is famous for the natural spas that are found here. In the town of Edipsos there are a huge number of natural spas and waters, and the town is generally referred to as the spa capital of the island. Spa and therapeutic holidays are very popular on the island of Evia, and there are many hotels and companies offering a great selection of health and natural spa holidays, where visitors can enjoy the healing properties of these unique waters, which have been known about since ancient times. According to Constantine Constantinides of healthCare cybernetics, reporting back for on a recent health conference arranged by the Greek Ministry of Tourism Development on the island, at which he spoke on health tourism integration and development; Evia is not as well known to foreign visitors as some of the other Greek islands in the Aegean. The Ministry has set about to remedy this. The fact that the Minister is also the Member of Parliament for Evia is not going to hurt the effort. The Greek Ministry of Tourism Development is tasked with overseeing the development of special interest tourism, including health, wellness and medical tourism.Evia has been designated as one of the nine Greek ht8 Destinations (i.e., national Destinations offering or aiming to offer services in the 8 Health Tourism Segments. The leadership of the Ministry of Tourism Development clearly indicated its support for initiatives aimed at the further development of the health tourism industry in Greece. The Minister of Tourism Development, Dr. Konstantinos Markopoulos, is a surgeon. ht8 refers to the 8 Health Tourism Segments:    Medical Tourism    Dental Tourism    Spa and Thalassotherapy Tourism    Wellness and Fitness Tourism    Sports Tourism     Culinary Tourism    Accessible Tourism     Assisted Residential Tourism  ht8 is a concept introduced in 2008 by healthCare cyberneticsGreece is one of the top tourism destinations in the world with 17 million visitors in 2007, but we do not know how many came for health reasons. 85% of arrivals originate in Western Europe: 21.2% from the United Kingdom, 17.5% from Germany, 8.8% from Italy, 5.3% from France, 5.2% from Holland, and 7.5% from the Scandinavian countries. Increasingly, significant numbers of visitors from Eastern Europe and China are making Greece their preferred destination, creating a wider base of origin countries and new demands for services, facilities, and attractions. Among the targeted sectors for expansion include the development of wellness and health tourism, thermal spas and thalassotherapy centers. Greece boasts more than 700 hot springs, many of therapeutic value. The potential to develop wellness centres, spas, and integrated treatment facilities is significant. Greece’s Investment Incentives Law provides for grants of up to 60% for the establishment of, thalassotherapy centres.


USA: US Surgeons association offers advice on medical tourism

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:55:00 GMT

The number of patients seeking medical and surgical care overseas has grown in recent years, prompting the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to study the issue and to develop an official Statement on Medical and Surgical Tourism. The ACS statement was developed with the patient’s interests in mind, and also offers guidelines for employers, agencies and insurers. Doctor James Unti of the ACS Nora Institute for Surgical Patient Safety says, It is important that individuals considering health care services outside the US become informed of the potential risks and complications as well as the medical, social, cultural, and legal implications of receiving such care. For those who chose to seek surgical care abroad, the ACS encourages patients to: * Seek care of the highest quality.* Select health care institutions that have met accreditation standards established by Joint Commission International, Trent International Accreditation Scheme, or a similar internationally recognized accrediting body. They should be aware that accreditation standards are not uniform and that standards set locally can vary from place to place around the world.* Seek care from surgeons and anaesthesiologists certified in their respective specialties through a process equivalent to that recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialities in the United States.* Prior to travel, make specific arrangements for continuity of care and follow-up care at home.* Obtain a complete set of medical records prior to returning home so that the details of their care are immediately available to their physicians and surgeons in the U.S.* Understand the special risks of combining long international flights and certain vacation activities with anaesthesia and surgical procedures.* Consider the medical, social, cultural, and legal implications of seeking medical treatment abroad prior to deciding on a venue of care. The ACS also* Supports their rights to select their surgeons and health care institutions without restriction.* Encourages its Fellows to assist all patients in reaching informed decisions concerning medical care, whether at home or abroad.* In the event of proven medical liability for injury, viable means for the recovery of damages should be in place.* Patients should be aware that many of the means for legal recourse available to citizens in the US are not universally accessible in other countries.* Opposes the imposition of provisions for mandatory referral of patients by insurers to health care institutions outside the US, unless such provisions are clearly and explicitly stated in the insurance contract and accepted by the subscriber.* Opposes the addition of provisions for mandatory referral abroad for patients with insurance contracts already in force, unless there is a fully informed consent from the patient. *  Supports the view that employers or insurers referring patients for mandatory treatment abroad should be responsible for the coordination and reimbursement of follow-up care in the US, including the management of postoperative complications, readmissions, rehabilitation, and long-term care. The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons with more than 74,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world.


HEALTH INSURANCE: Unique medical tourism and insurance products

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:54:12 GMT

While agencies, hospitals, associations and experts continue their slow uphill struggle to try to convince European and American health and health plan insurers to allow customers to be treated overseas, there is another way. Across the world, some have concluded that adding medical tourism to existing insurance products is a back to front way of solving the problem. They argue that each country and customer niche has vastly different needs; so shoehorning medical tourism into existing health insurance is a non-starter. The collection of US/Mexican cross border plans are growing, while an Asian country uses captives to offer worldwide health insurance and treatment to multinational companies. In Oman and Canada, two new very different products have been launched that specifically deal with problems in each country.  BankMuscat has introduced a new product offering affordable medical insurance coverage against seven critical illnesses. The Hayatuna Medical Care Plan covers treatment of critical illnesses, including heart attack, cancer, kidney failure, major organ transplant, multiple sclerosis, stroke and coronary artery by-pass surgery. No medical check-up is required and customers can opt for critical illness treatment at any hospital anywhere in the world. The policy also does away with standard critical illness insurance requirements of having a post-diagnosis survival period, so encourages treatment at an early stage. Sulaiman al Harthy says, Through Hayatuna we seek to address the need for effective financial assistance for treatment of critical illnesses, not just in Oman. Every year, more than 50,000 people travel outside Oman for medical treatment.    In Canada, private health insurance has legal limitations. The problem that many Canadians have is that state care is good, but has long waiting lists. A new insurance offers Canadians private treatment either in Canada or the USA. It covers treatment and travel costs for patient and companion, including an instant second opinion and a private case coordinator who will oversee the diagnostic, treatment and recovery process. illnessPROTECTION.com Inc., an independent insurance advisor, has launched ELITE U.S. Healthcare insurance. Available to Canadians only, this provides timely access to medical centres of excellence in the US or Canada in the event of any illness or injury with a wait time for treatment in Canada. People are concerned about increasing wait times for medical treatments," says founder Mark Halpern, "Average wait times for treatment in Canada now range from a minimum of 13 to 28 weeks, so there is a need for affordable protection that eliminates unnecessary delays while funding treatments and travel costs."Halpern developed this product in a strategic alliance with Cleveland Clinic Canada. It is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, and administered by Global Excel Management.


INDIA: Booming medical tourism in India

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:53:51 GMT

A new report, "Booming Medical Tourism in India, provides an insight into the Indian medical tourism market. It evaluates the past, present and future scenario of the Indian medical tourism market and discusses the key factors that are making India a favorable medical tourism destination. Both statistics and trends regarding market size, tourist arrivals, infrastructure, accreditations, drivers and restraints have been thoroughly discussed in the report. The research suggests that India represents the most potential medical tourism market in the world. Factors such as low cost, scale and range of treatments provided by India differentiate it from other medical tourism destinations. The growth in India’s medical tourism market is expected to serve as a boon for several associated industries including hotels, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. Key Findings- India offers vast range of medical treatments from simple dental procedures to the complex cardiac surgeries.- Patients can save 60%-95% of their treatment costs by undergoing treatment in India.- Wellness tourism, spa, yoga and Ayurveda, has a very bright future in India as foreigners are increasingly flocking to India to seek physical and mental healing.- In 2007, around 272,000 medical tourists visited India for medical tourism and brought US$ 656 Million in revenues.- Lack of proper hospital accreditation system and inefficient laws against malpractice will be the biggest factor limiting the growth of India’s medical tourism Industry.- India enjoys a considerable superiority over both Singapore and Thailand as preferred medical destination. The report analyses the four most prominent hospital groups in Indian medical tourism - Apollo, Wockhardt, Fortis Healthcare and Max India. It costs$ 1300 printed and $ 1000 for a single user electronic copy. A UNI report circulating in India suggests that India, originally known for low cost surgery is becoming a destination for dental tourism for low cost treatment. Articles in the Indian press suggest that most dental tourists come from within Asia, but 28 per cent come from Europe and 21 per cent from North America. The Parthenon Group, a global strategic advisory firm set up its office in Mumbai last year. Parthenon is expanding its presence in India, including advising Indian hospitals on medical tourism opportunities. Alistair Stranack of the global healthcare practice, comments, If you look at cost comparison and facilities, Thailand is much ahead of India. India needs to establish itself as a true destination for medical tourism with facilities and quality, with more government support. India’s tourism ministry had a meeting with hospitals, travel and hotel associations, and government officials promoting medical tourism. The ministry has identified global medical exhibitions where India can participate and create awareness. Under the Visit India 2009 scheme, selected hospitals from major hospital groups have agreed to offer a full medical check up package at an affordable cost and one companion will be given free check up. The ministry has also created posters, literature, CDs and supporting articles to boost medical tourism.


PHILIPPINES: Putting the medical back into medical tourism

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:52:23 GMT

Guam’s TakeCare Insurance Company has launched a new medical tourism company Veiovis to provide expertise, experience and service to the global medical tourism industry. The Guam-based subsidiary will operate internationally. Veiovis’s founder Joseph Husslein says, It is time to put the medical concerns of the patient on par with the tourist needs of the traveller in this industry.  Veiovis is designed to put the medical back into medical travel. Veiovis is an offshoot of TakeCare Insurance, with offices in Seattle, Washington, Guam, and Manila. Ed Fess, medical director for TakeCare and Veiovis explains, As I meet with both US and international doctors and hospitals, their common concern has been a severe lack among medical travel agents with experience in medical case management.  The industry is populated by agents with primarily travel and tourism backgrounds who have almost no developed infrastructure for managing the entire continuum of patient care.  By contrast, Veiovis leverages a model for overseas medicine anchored in health care management and real clinical resources that has been refined over the course of two decades through TakeCare. Grace Murphy for Veiovis adds, Three key patient responses need to be minimized as much as possible for the medical traveller:  stress, confusion and service irrelevance. Our patients rely on us to safely bridge the distance between their home-based doctor and their overseas hospital. A medical travel agency that can consistently meet that expectation is going to be more relevant to the consumer. TakeCare Insurance Company, Inc. is the sole Guam-based health insurance provider for the U.S. Federal Employee Health Benefit Program. Veiovis uses TakeCare’s health insurance and clinic operations, and success as a pioneer of medical travel, especially to the Philippines and other Asian medical destinations. Established in 1972, TakeCare is a privately held consumer health organization offering medical and dental insurance products covering 45,000 people and providing healthcare through full-service medical, dental, and optometry clinics. The largest insurer in Guam offers health plans to private businesses, the public sector and exclusively to the US Federal government. It uses a network of hospitals in The Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Hawaii and the United States.  Veiovis’ services for individuals and groups include:* An assessment of medical condition and needs* Connecting patients with the appropriate specialists in a particular type of medicine or a particular condition or disease.* Concierge services for such tasks as booking airlines, hotels, ground transport, laundry, cooking and courier service.*  Access to the hospital network The Veoivis hospital network; Philippines- St. Luke’s Medical Center- The Medical City Thailand- Bumrumgrad International Taiwan- Taiwan Adventist Medical Center Singapore- Raffles Hospital Hawaii- Straub Clinic and Hospital- Kapi’olani Medical Center at Pali Momi California- Anaheim Memorial Medical Center- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center- Good Samaritan Hospital- Long Beach Memorial Medical Center- Millers Children’s Hospital- UCLA Medical Center Oregon- Oregon Health and Science University


SOUTH KOREA: JCI and Korean Hospital Association work together

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:37:54 GMT

Joint Commission International (JCI) and the Korean Hospital Association (KHA) have agreed to establish programmes focused on improving the quality and safety of health care services in South Korea. JCI has worked with health care organizations, ministries of health, and global organizations in more than 80 countries. It focuses on improving the safety of patient care through the provision of accreditation and certification services as well as through advisory and educational services aimed at helping organizations implement practical and sustainable solutions. JCI is accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). KHA and JCI will assist hospitals in Korea as they strive to achieve a level of quality recognized worldwide. Together JCI and the KHA will: * Establish an ongoing series of educational programs for KHA member hospitals.* Translate and publish the Joint Commission International Accreditation Standards for Hospitals, Third Edition, into Korean.* Establish a help desk for KHA members to answer their questions about JCI standards, accreditation and service.* Distribute information on JCI standards for all accreditation programs via the KHA information network.* Develop and promote the use of patient safety solutions for the benefit of South Korean patients and health professionals. "Working with JCI will help the Korean Hospital Association raise the profile of health care in South Korea, and bring international recognition to the quality of care in South Korean hospitals. Improving the quality of health care and patient safety in South Korea is a strategic initiative of the KHA."says Hoon Sang Chi of the Korean Hospital Association. More than 246 public and private health care organizations in 36 countries have been accredited by JCI. Only one hospital in South Korea has achieved JCI accreditation-Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul. Others are working towards JCI accreditation. With strong government support, South Korea is on the way to become a leading medical tourism destination in Asia. The South Korean government has introduced a new category of visa for tourists who visit the country for medical reasons. The foreign medical tourist visa, M, is adopted in a bid to boost the nation’s medical tourism industry as local hospitals and medical institutes asked the government to simplify the visa issuance process. The new visa is issued in two forms, C3 (M), a 90-day visa for those with short-term treatment purposes, and G1 (M), a one-year visa for those who need long-term care. A law change allowing Korean hospitals to market services to foreigners and team up with travel agents has major Seoul medical institutions offering packages to two million gyopo, ethnic Koreans living overseas, promising them faster and more affordable service According to a new RNCOS research report, Emerging Medical Tourism in South Korea, government initiatives to promote the country as a medical tourism hub will fuel the growth in the South Korean medical tourism industry. Despite the gloomy outlook for the world economy, medical tourism industry in South Korea has witnessed an impressive growth of more than 55% in 2008 over the same period last year. Due to the global recession, South Korea is now 30% cheaper to visit than it was last year.


MALAYSIA: Medical advertising guidelines to go?

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:37:16 GMT

The Malaysian Health Ministry could be set to call for a review of the Medical Advertising Guidelines, if opponents of the current restrictions get their way. There is a growing concern from hospitals and agencies that the current restrictions have a very negative effect on the growth of Malaysia’s medical tourism market. If the ministry decides to review the guidelines, which were drafted to protect the importance of healthcare and medical services, it will call on all relevant stakeholders within the industry to be involved. The guidelines were last reviewed in December 2007 and only allow Malaysian doctors and hospitals to put up identity card sized pictures, qualifications, job titles, telephone numbers and places of practice. It disallows the use of superlatives for any healthcare centre, contrary to counterparts abroad that can include a virtual tour of their facilities and testimonials from patients. Advertising agencies, hospitals and medical practitioners need to submit the intended advertisement for approval by the Health Ministry’s Medicine Advertisements Board before ads are run. No changes are allowed after authorisation. Doctors who ignore the rules can be struck off. Suresh Ponnudurai of medical tourism portal Tropical Flow is eager to see changes made to the guidelines, The aim was so that advertising on health would not be the same as advertising a new TV or just a normal product. The guidelines also serve to create a level playing field for Malaysian healthcare centres and doctors. There should be changes to enable healthy competition in the industry. The irony is that while one part of the Health Ministry is handicapping medical tourism, other parts of it are promoting it. Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently announced plans for a Medical Tourism Board to be set up in Penang. Hospitals in the state will contribute to support the board which will run campaigns abroad to attract medical tourists. Liow says that in 2008, 370,000 foreigners came to seek medical treatment, contributing RM300 million in revenue for the medical tourism industry. He adds that Malaysia’s medical tourism registered an annual growth of 30%, "We want to promote the industry for economic reason as we see it has so much potential that should be properly tapped. We expect the industry to continue to grow as Malaysia has the competitive edge compared with the neighbouring countries in terms of price and services provided. The Health Ministry is preparing a master plan to intensify promotion of health tourism in the country. It will work with the Tourism Ministry and Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) to draw up a proper framework and guideline for the industry. Tourism Malaysia will embark on a three-year plan to collect data and market profile on health tourism, as part of its strategy to make Malaysia a premier health and wellness destination. Tourism Malaysia’s Zulkifly Said says the research is very important in order to identify potential markets that could be tapped. The organisation will also work on promotional activities such as familiarizaation trips and marketing support.


WEB: Medeguide to go live during June

Tue, 30 Jun 2009 13:35:37 GMT

Ruben Toral, Chief Executive of Mednet Asiaand President of the IMTA, will launch a new medical tourism portal called Medeguide to provide doctors and hospitals a platform to market their products and services online. The site will go live on June 30, and when launched at the Healthcare Travel Congress in Singapore hopes to feature profiles of around 1,000 doctors from over 10 countries. By 2010 the site expects to have over 5,000 doctors in 20 different specialties. Toral was Marketing Director at Bumrungrad International in Bangkok, before becoming chief executive of Mednet Asia. He is also president of the International Medical Travel Association  (IMTA). Mednet Asia provides consulting, branding and marketing support to large US payer networks, international hospitals and information technology companies. Medeguide serves two audiences. For consumers, it is a one stop source of information on doctors and treatment packages, allowing patients to search, find and connect with hospitals and doctors based on location, specialty, procedures and board certification. For doctors and hospitals, it is an online platform to market their services and products to the millions who search for medical information daily. Top 10 doctors are specially selected based on their experience, qualifications and affiliations with leading hospitals. Ruben Toral says, "Globalization, the internet and consumerism are transforming healthcare. This is a tool to help patients make better healthcare choices by providing them with relevant information about doctors and treatment options globally." Already signed up are Bumrungrad International, Parkway, Christus Muguerza, Apollo Hospitals, Max Healthcare and Wockhardt Hospitals.Vishal Bali for Wockhardt Hospitals in India, says. "Our experience is that patients, particularly those from overseas, use the web as their primary source of information when researching hospitals, doctors and treatment packages." Theo Seiler for Asian Hospital in the Philippines adds. "It is an ideal platform for us because we can use it to promote our doctors locally and globally." Patients Beyond Borders, the medical tourism guidebook publisher, has agreed to develop content for the Destinations section, which includes information for prospective patients about popular medical travel destinations throughout Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Russell Conrad has joined as head of advertising and sponsorship, from Admax Networks, and agreed a deal with Admax Plus, a web based marketing firm that also uses social media marketing on Facebook and Twitter. With his IMTA hat on, Toral advises, IMTA is the only global association that brings together hospitals, providers and other medical travel stakeholders in a collective movement to develop and promote policies, best practices and best products around these issues. We expect to build membership by focusing on providers. the foundation of the medical travel industry, whose support is critical to IMTA’s credibility and financial health. Now more than ever, this nascent industry needs a unified voice that exemplifies integrity and works toward industry guidelines. It expects to play an even greater role in promoting patient safety and protecting individual well being by raising the bar on the development of globally recognized, quality standards, creating guidelines that advance industry self-regulation. We can accelerate the process and move the industry forward.


Women's Museum