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Medical tourism

Medical tourists are the best advocates for effective health solutions

Theodore Koumelis - 27 February 2013, 12:43

Experts at IMTEC 2013 will discuss benchmarking for outcomes in global medical travel industry.

MONTE CARLO, MONACO - Current trends in the medical tourism industry indicate that the needs of international patients are challenging health service providers to come up with advanced solutions for quality healthcare outcomes. The basic question of a medical traveler is always ‘Who is the best doctor?’ This new approach – benchmarking for outcomes - will ensure medical tourism is more focused on patient-centered medicine.  

The topic of benchmarking of effective outcomes in the global medical travel industry will be one of the topics discussed at The International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC 2013) which is a two-day conference that will provide a transparent platform for both consumers and service providers to understand the latest trends and drivers in the global medical tourism industry. Taking place for the first time on 22-23 March at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, IMTEC 2013 will host the leaders and thinkers in the medical travel arena to learn and discuss the latest developments in the medical travel market. IMTEC is organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the organisers of the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition ‘Arab Health’, in strategic cooperation with the European Medical Travel Conference (EMTC).

According to Dr. Uwe Klein, Chairman of IMTEC 2013, “Within the medical travel industry, competition is not only for the most advanced hospitals, but increasingly for the best healthcare solutions associated with the competencies and skills of a particular doctor or medial team. If patients could learn more about their rights and entitlements in cross-border healthcare, they would be more easily converted into medical travelers. Patients need to have access to ‘neutral’ information about their medical travel options from non-commercial organizations so that they can be assured that they are being given impartial information when making decisions about cross-border healthcare options. Facilitators have a special responsibility here and IMTEC once more gives the opportunity to discuss and to challenge legal and ethical standards in medical travel.”

IMTEC 2013 is launching its Commissioners of Medical Travel (CMT) Programme at this year’s event. CMTs are qualified healthcare facilitators and purchasers from across the globe, who will be invited to attend the IMTEC exhibition. The confirmed institutions joining the CMT Programme who will be present in Monaco and seeking partners to add to their international network include New Patient Foundation, Dubai, UAE; Companion Global Healthcare Group, USA; ACE for Health Tourism, Kuwait; Outassurance Brokers, Tanzania; Ukraine Regional Network, Ukraine; Panorama Medica Group, Thailand; Metlife Amplico, Poland, and many more.

“I believe the market projections in medical travel are undervalued in the sense that they only include the cost of treatments availed by patients, what it is not able to measure are the investments that come with the development of the industry,” says Joyce Alumno, Executive Director & Chief Strategist of HealthCORE Research, Communications & Management, Inc. in the Philippines, and Advisory Board member for IMTEC 2013.

“Asian countries are still seen as the main players in medical tourism given the low cost of treatments and young demographic profile that pose bigger potentials in the years to come. If efforts are sustained, the number of medical travelers is expected to grow since the ageing population is increasing exponentially and the developed countries like the US, Canada, Australia and some European countries are experiencing the burden of healthcare costs. For attendees spending on their registration fees at IMTEC, they would like to get a return on their investments by being able to generate business by understanding the different markets better and knowing what strategies will work. Having someone talk from organized groups who have been steadily sending patients overseas will be a very interesting topic.”

Key speakers at IMTEC 2013 include Ms. Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), UAE; Dr. Paolo Giordano, Managing Director, European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP), France; Josef Woodman, President, Patients Beyond Borders, USA; Dr. William Ruschhaupt, Chairman Global Health Center, Cleveland Clinic, USA; Ruben Toral, Founder and Director, Medeguide, Thailand; and Isabel de la Mata, Principal Adviser, SANCO – Heath & Consumers, European Commission, Luxembourg.

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