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© 2012 Medical Travel Today

Medical Travel Today is a publication of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, a public relations firm based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences, with an international clientele. CPR, its Partners, and clients are at the nexus of where medical travel is today, and where it will be tomorrow.

Publisher, Laura Carabello

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Amanda Haar

News in Review

Superbugs Spread to 40 Nations Threatening India Medical Tourism

Why Travel Agents Are Back From The Dead (And Why You Should Care)

Would you go to Turkey for teeth work, or Belgium for a boob job? What happens if it goes wrong

Czechs launch surgical strike to boost medical tourism

Spotlight

Cliff Orme and Balbina Lankenau, CIMA Monterrey, PART TWO

Spotlight

Simon Hudson, Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, University of South Carolina, PART ONE

Industry News

FDA Warns on Controversial MS Therapy

Israeli Medical Tourism Industry Slowly Forges Ahead

Germany Emerges as Key Destination for Gulf Tourists

CapsulePen launches as Kickstarter's next K.O.

Medical Travel Morphing into Niche Markets, Study Finds

Upcoming Events

WELL-BEING TRAVEL CONFERENCE 2012

Hotels Bridging Healthcare Conference Announced

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Global Health Voyager

THIS WEEK IN MEDICAL TRAVEL TODAY
Volume 6, Issue 10

by Amanda Haar, Editor

Greetings,

While I hate the visual of the phrase "there's more than one way to skin a cat" evokes, it kept coming to mind as I compiled this week's issue.

Our two SPOTLIGHT interviews both address the challenges of attracting patients to a destination, Central America and South Carolina respectively. How each of our interviewees is approaching the challenge is influenced by several factors, including their respective backgrounds and experience in the industry. These factors have helped shape their notion of the right message to promote and the right way to go about it.

Interestingly enough, while one has opted to focus on safety and quality and the other on transparency of price, they both agree that collaboration in marketing is the best way to make your message known.

We hope you enjoy these discussions, and invite you to share your thoughts, story ideas and press releases for inclusion in upcoming issues.

Also, there's still time to register for the Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012 slated for June 20-21 in Scottsdale, AZ. Medical Travel Today's own Laura Carabello will be a featured speaker on opening day. To learn more, click here.

Cheers,

Amanda Haar, Editor
ahaar@cpronline.com 

Log onto Facebook and join the Medical Travel Today Group. Look for recent news, trends, and post discussions in the board. If you would like to see something in Medical Travel Today let us know in the discussion board. If you have a question, post it there!

You can also follow Medical Travel Today on Twitter. For more information log onto www.medicaltraveltoday.com

Spotlight

Cliff Orme and Balbina Lankenau, CIMA Monterrey, PART TWO

Editor's Note: Part One of our conversation with Cliff Orme and Balbina Lakenau appeared in Issue 9 of Medical Travel Today. Click here to read.

Cliff Orme, President and COO, International Hospitals (CIMA)

Medical Travel Today (MTT): What are your expectations for growth in the future?

Cliff Orme (CO): Well we certainly expect it to continue growing, but it will never be more than 20 percent of our overall business. We're truly designed to serve the local patient base. The business we get through Medical Value Travel (MVT) is certainly desirable but it will never be our core business.

MTT: What do you base your growth expectations on?

CO: There are two factors that impact our projections. The first is the overall state of the economy in the US where most of our international patients originate.

Right now there's a lot of concern about the viability of the US healthcare model. And given the economic pressures and constraints, and tightening of reimbursements for physicians and hospitals, the issue of whether or not the US can provide adequate care over the long run is questionable. As that continues to surface and draw attention, we certainly become more attractive.

The second factor is the demand for services and the perception people have about availability of healthcare in their area at an affordable price. Right now Americans in particular do not perceive US healthcare services as affordable, and I don't see that perception changing much in the future.

That said, some areas, such as plastics, are becoming more competitive in the States. Doctors and hospitals are making adjustments to stop the outmigration of patients, and that shift has had an impact on the number of plastics patients we've seen. I imagine that could and will happen in other areas, but I'm not sure how quickly or aggressively it will occur.

Actually, another factor that gives me confidence in growth is International Health Corporation's (IHC) 'dual citizenship,' if you will.

What I mean by that is IHC is a company with its headquarters in the US and operations in Latin America. Given that, we understand the business and what the international patient is looking for in terms of experience, and processes and structure. We have experiencing running US hospitals and have applied that learning to our Latin American facilities. Plus, we understand the Latin American culture because we're rooted here. It's a win-win.

In fact, we're the only Pan-Latin healthcare system operating in five jurisdictions - a Netherlands company with offices in the US and hospitals operating in Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil. As a result, a lot of global knowledge and understanding comes to bear on everything we do.

I think this positions us well to grow the business over the long run with a goal of increasing the number of hospitals and our presence in Latin America.

MTT: Do you have any specific marketing initiatives in the works?

Balbina Lankenau (BL): Well, certainly increasing our presence on the Web is very important as that's where most folks turn to when in need of medical services. We're also looking for ways to improve the usability of our site.

But in terms of individual efforts, not so much. It's just so easy to get lost in all that's out there. We find it's much more effective to collaborate with other groups for a marketing presence.

For example, rather than trying to target large employer groups ourselves, we work with groups that have established relationships already. They have the experience to effectively pitch that kind of business and develop contracts, whereas we have the experience to provide the desired service. It's just a much more effective and efficient way to go about generating interest and business for everyone.

MTT: I noticed your tagline: "Your Safest Medical Care Close to Home." What exactly does that mean?

CO: That refers to the Toyota Production System model that we use here to ensure quality at every turn and every day.

I became familiar, actually immersed in it, a number of years ago when I was involved with the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI).

Very briefly, in the late 1990s the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report entitled "To Err is Human" that revealed that 98,000 people were dying annually from medical errors in US hospitals. A later report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added to the concern by highlighting that another 80,000 people were dying from preventable hospital-acquired infections. In 2005 or so, the IOM called for the application of engineering principles to the daily work of healthcare. Under the direction of Alcoa Chairman and US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, PRHI and partners began applying the Toyota system with tremendous, positive results.

CIMA has adopted that same approach at every facility, reporting daily on every problem we see. We report it and work to correct the root issue with the goal of providing the best of care every single day. That approach, combined with our nurse-patient ratios, allows us to pay better attention to each individual patient, and reduce infection and errors. We really do mean it when we say "Your Safest Medical Care Close to Home." I'm not exaggerating when I say care at CIMA is extremely safe.

In fact other hospitals in Mexico and Central America have sought us out to teach them the same principles. It's that recognized and, fortunately, valued.

About Clifton Orme

Clifton N. Orme has served as chief operating officer of the CIMA Division of International Hospital Corporation since September 2006 and currently is president and COO of the Division. Prior to joining the company Mr. Orme was administrator/chief executive officer of LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh, which now has 283 beds and four hospital campuses in the Greater Pittsburgh, Penn., area including Bellevue, Natrona Heights, Monroeville and Wilkinsburg. Early in his career he served in various executive capacities including: director of Physician Relations for the HealthTrust Mountain Division, which was subsequently bought by HCA/Columbia; assistant administrator for Columbia Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, a 312-bed general acute care hospital; and executive director of Valley Hospital Association, now Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, a 74-bed general acute care facility. With over 20 years of experience in hospital leadership, Orme excels at leading turnarounds and continuous improvement at small to mid-size hospitals, has served on the boards of two state hospital associations and was adjunct professor for the University of St. Francis, associate professor at the University of Phoenix and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He received his MBA from Brigham Young University and graduated with distinction.

About Balbina Lankenau

Balbina Lankenau de la Garza, regional manager, International Patient Services "Medical Value Travel" department for International Hospital Corporation (IHC). She graduated cum laude from the Universidad de Monterrey, specializing in International Marketing. She has an extensive background in international customer service and is a highly qualified manager with experience in the field of medical tourism.

Balbina has held the position of general manager for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico and most recently managing director of a global healthcare company specializing in matching international patients with accredited hospitals in Latin America. Also, she has consulted to numerous professionals and physicians, US health plans and American medical tourism entrepreneurs. 

Since the exponential growth of travel for healthcare, the CIMA and VITA hospitals have found the need to aid international patients by being directly involved with the patient's personal needs before, during and after they receive care in the CIMA and VITA hospitals located throughout Latin America in Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil. Balbina is currently managing a staff of bilingual coordinators and nurse coordinators. She manages the day-to-day operations between the MVT offices, its US clients, CIMA & VITA hospitals and their physicians.

 

Spotlight

Dr. Simon Hudson, Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, University of South Carolina

Simon Hudson, Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, University of South Carolina, PART ONE

Editor's Note: Earlier this year Dr. Simon Hudson and his colleague Xiang (Robert) Li published a research report entitled, Domestic Medical Tourism: A Neglected Dimension of Medical Tourism Research. Since then Hudson has presented at several medical travel events where his findings and ideas have been both challenged and lauded. Medical Travel Today caught up with Hudson to learn more about the findings in the report and the cause of the mixed reception.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Let's start with what prompted you to pursue this area of research.

Simon Hudson (SH): Medical travel is something I've been looking at for a while. A number of years ago I wrote a case study called "Safari and a Facelift: The Rise of Medical Tourism" about the trend of people going to South Africa for the purported purpose of safari, which they did, but also managed to squeeze in a bit of plastic surgery while they were there. The length of the safari permitted them to be gone long enough to recover and come back looking better than ever.

So while I originally looked at it from an overseas or international perspective my view shifted when I moved to South Carolina. Here I was looking for economic and tourism opportunities for South Carolina and recognized that the state is actually very strong in certain areas such as cardiology, orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery, and has an established tourism infrastructure. But we're not really known as a place one would travel for medical reasons. I then set about researching how to position South Carolina as a medical tourism destination.

I quickly found that almost all the research done on medical travel has focused solely on the international aspects of the industry. In my view this is a big miss. With economic times such as they are, people, Americans in particular, just aren't traveling abroad the way they used to, and yet the population of aging Americans is growing. The need for care is also growing.

And the truth is, Americans would prefer to stay home for major surgery if there was a feasible, reasonable option. India or Thailand is a long way to go in the best of circumstance, but when traveling for care there's a greater risk of something going wrong. When you get your care here, it's easier to respond when things go wrong. A revisit abroad just isn't as easy.

MTT: What did your research bear out in terms of the challenges to developing domestic medical travel?

SH: I'll address the issue of challenges, but I want to touch on the motivation first.
Back in 2009, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions issued a report stating that in the preceding year the United States lost around $16 billion in domestic consumer spending to medical tourism abroad. That number certainly got a lot of people's attention, but not a lot of hospitals responded. At least not right away.

The reason for that is that attracting medical travel requires making some significant changes in the way you do business. The whole idea of here's your all-inclusive price for a new hip, well, that's just not the way it's done in US hospitals. You know here you can't figure out what something costs before a procedure and, frankly, even after it's all done and paid for you can't quite be sure how much you paid and exactly what it was all for.

So, in my view, American hospitals were slow to respond but they're on it now. And so are the cities and regions they're based in. There's now a movement to collaborate on regional promotion with healthcare options as a component.

MTT: What kind of actions are you seeing healthcare providers make to promote domestic travel and what do they need to do?

SH: Well, number one is creating fixed and visible pricing that's competitive. For many people who go abroad, cost is a key consideration. And, again, it's extremely hard to figure out what the true cost of care in the States is. Even so, by most accounts, it's way out of line with what other countries are charging to provide the same care. There are quite a number of companies in the US that have started posting fixed prices for a variety of procedures. Both Travel Surgery USA and Healthbase post prices, as do a few hospitals.

But the costs have to be competitive, and there's a strong argument for making them so. For example, Galichia Heart Hospital in Kansas decided to try out some competitive pricing on certain heart procedures. They thought they'd just do a test to see what happened. Well, what happened was they added two cases per week and $100 million in revenue. That's pretty compelling.

The other area where changes need to be made in terms of perception and reality is patient care.

Everybody knows that the typical care you get in a US hospital looks nothing like the personalized care you get in Thailand or Costa Rica or many other foreign destinations. There, it's limos delivering the patient to the door of the hospital, Starbucks in the lobby and so on. Some might argue that customer service should be second or third to quality/safety issues and cost, but I think they're on par. And I'm not alone.

In fact there's a very wealthy couple in Chicago that agrees. The Matthew and Carolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation has just donated $42 million to the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) to create the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence. The Bucksbaum Institute will work to improve doctor-patient communication by providing support and training for doctors from the beginning of medical school through their clinical work. This emphasis on a doctor's bedside manner is novel in medical education,
but is critical, I believe.

But these things, the price issues and customer care, are really second to asking some of the most basic marketing questions. Things like what's our area of strength in care, how far will patients travel to receive it, what are they willing to pay, and is there enough demand to support an initiative.

I also think that cooperation in the area of medical tourism promotion is key to success. Creating appeal for your destination, be it Las Vegas or Charleston, S.C., will only add to the appeal of medical travel. Healthcare providers should seek to align themselves with the people heading up the destination marketing for their area or region. A good example is Las Vegas' new Health & Wellness Destination Guidebook, designed to educate consumers and take them through their medical tourism decision-making process.

Part Two of this interview will appear in Issue 11.

About Simon Hudson
The endowed chair for the South Carolina Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development, Dr. Simon Hudson joined the University of South Carolina in January 2010. He has held previous academic positions at universities in Canada and England, and has worked as a visiting professor in Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Fiji, New Zealand, the United States and Australia.

Prior to working in academia, Dr. Hudson spent several years working in the tourism industry in Europe. Dr. Hudson has written five books: Snow Business; Sports and Adventure Tourism; Marketing for Tourism and Hospitality: A Canadian Perspective; Tourism and Hospitality Marketing: A Global Perspective; and Golf Tourism. His next book on customer service will be published in January 2013. The marketing of tourism is the focus of his research and, in addition to the books, he has published more than 45 journal articles from his work. Dr. Hudson is frequently invited to international tourism conferences as a keynote speaker. His personal website address is www.tourismgurus.com.

Industry News

FDA Warns on Controversial MS Therapy

MedPageToday.com - The Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert about risks, including death, associated with endovascular treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) based on the controversial theory that the disease is caused or exacerbated by blocked cerebrospinal veins.

Called chronic cerebrospinal vascular insufficiency (CCSVI), the theory has polarized the MS community since an Italian researcher proposed it in 2009. Many patients and some physicians immediately embraced it, but most mainstream neurologists have been deeply skeptical.

To continue reading click here.

Industry News

Germany Emerges as Key Destination for Gulf Tourists

Arabnews.com - Germany has become one of the key destinations for tourists from Gulf countries.

Munich received 120,000 arrivals from the Gulf Cooperation Council last year and over 70 percent of the tourists were there for medical treatment," said Frank Hell, General Manager, Charles Hotel in Munich.

With a high hospitality density, Munich has become a medical hub for patients travelling from the Middle East. In 2011 alone, over 70 percent of our Middle Eastern guests were booking into our hotel for a medical stay," he added.

According to statistics, residents from the United Arab Emirates alone spend up to $2 billion on healthcare travel annually.

To continue reading click here.

Industry News

CapsulePen launches as Kickstarter's next K.O.

New York, NY (May 10, 2012) - CapsulePen, the brainchild of Joseph Cote (serial entrepreneur and former Founder of Dance.com), hit Kickstarter (watch the video here: http://kck.st/JgHSHy) on May 9 and changes the way medication and supplement takers carry their capsules. CapsulePen is a pill box shaped like a pen, a discrete yet convenient new form for the category. The CapsulePen enables "adherence" (the degree to which a patient takes medication as prescribed), which is a significant challenge in the health industry in general, and for the elderly or chronically ill in particular.

When he came across the inferior and inconvenient pill box options at a local pharmacy, Joe's mind jumped into action. CapsulePen was born: an easy-to-use, practical new way of containing capsules. "I couldn't believe the lack of options, and how indiscreet and impractical those options where," says Cote. "At the pace that we live, people demand things that fit neatly into our lives and actually work towards our goals of being healthier. All I saw were cumbersome, poorly thoughtout variations. We all own that ugly "pill case" that sits in our bathroom gathering dust."

The CapsulePen is the first pill container that arranges pills lengthwise in a tubular container shaped like a pen. The pen fits virtually all pill sizes including round tablets, which are loaded in the order they are to be taken. A clip ensures easy fastening inside pockets, and magnetized end caps make it easy to place
the CapsulePen within eye-sight in a kitchen, bathroom or office. Its hexagonal body plus the magnetized end caps allows for seven CapsulePens to fit perfectly together in a weekly bundle for easy, secure portability. This means that CapsulePen holders can pre-load a full week's worth of medication, ready to be taken on time, every time.

TrvlMktRpt.jpeg

"It just makes sense," says Cote, evoking Charles Eames, who famously said that design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose. High design standards aren't the only achievement, here. The story of how the product got to prototyping on a zero dollar budget, and then
onto Kickstarter with less than $10,000 in start-up capital, is also remarkable. There are 150 million people in America on prescription medication, over 500 million in the world. CapsulePen aims to enable as many of their lives as possible, as medication non-adherence is an expensive and potentially deadly problem, resulting in 89,000 deaths and $100 billion per year in unnecessary hospital costs.

Other trends across the globe and in the US include a focus on living healthier lifestyles and supplementing foods with vitamins and minerals. The global vitamin and supplement market is worth $68 billion, according to research from Euromonitor. Virtually all of these, including large Omega oil capsules, fit into the CapsulePen.

The pens are currently available as rewards for financial support of the launch of the company through CapsulePen LLC's www.kickstarter.com campaign through July 1st, and thereafter on their website (www.capsulepen.com). Their patent is pending in the US and being filed worldwide, and they will soon start distributing to countries other than the USA. "And we're constantly looking for new ideas and new markets," concludes Cote. "This is just the start of new ways of solving everyday problems in simple, clean, elegant ways."

Industry News

Medical Travel Morphing into Niche Markets, Study Finds

TrvlMktRpt.jpeg

Travelmarketreport.com - A new study predicts that much of the growth in medical travel will be focused in three niches - dental, cosmetic and fertility services. 

The 2012 Medical Tourism Facts and Figures study, released recently by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ), also predicts that medical tourism's growth will be primarily in regional and domestic travel - and paid for by customers themselves, rather than health insurers.

Capitalizing on that growth will require "different marketing strategies for the various customer sectors and segments," said study author Ian Youngman. 

The study, an updated and expanded revision to IMTJ's 2010 compendium, puts previous forecasts about medical tourism into the context of today's reality. "Medical tourism has settled in certain patterns and is going in new directions," the report states.

New directions
Most medical travel is to regional destinations - US to Mexico, for example - or domestic destinations, according to the study. And most patients from well-off countries travel for cosmetic, dental and fertility treatment.

The study also found that medical travelers are not necessarily seeking the least-expensive destinations: the top three European destinations are the region's most expensive. Also, the US sees as many inbound medical travelers as outbound, according to the IMTJ findings.

Another segment of medical tourism comprises well-off patients from countries with inadequate medical facilities who travel for surgeries. Within this sector, the biggest growth markets are China, Russia and the Arabian Gulf, which has well-off residents seeking "value for money but top of the range care," according to the study.

Will health insurers pay?
The study forecasts that medical travel will remain "a self-pay industry" - because health insurers are not interested, Youngman writes. For health insurers, "the downsides seem too many," he stated.

Because of their buying power, health insurers "are paying between a third and a half of the retail price for healthcare in the U.S. and Europe, so they cannot make the huge savings claimed by some," he said. "Also, they work with global networks of hospitals, so they do not need the help of small intermediaries."

Youngman cited a February article in U.S. News quoting Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Healthcare Solutions, who said that US healthcare inflation had been running at just 4 percent for the past two years, so employers are under less pressure to cut those costs. 

While savings remain a top priority, Keckley said, "Medical tourism doesn't show up as a top-tier issue." 

That's a significant statement because Deloitte, in its much-cited 2008/2009 Medical Tourism studies, forecast that US health insurers would drive 35 percent annual growth in outbound medical tourism and that 1.6 million Americans would travel for medical services in 2012.

Upcoming Events

WELL-BEING TRAVEL CONFERENCE 2012

Medical Travel Today Publisher Laura Carabello featured opening day speaker

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Ground-Breaking Event Merges Health, Wellness and Medical Industries with Travel Sellers Around the Globe

Registration is now open for the ground-breaking "Well-Being Travel Conference 2012" which will take place on June 20-21, 2012, at The Phoenician luxury resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. (www.well-beingtravelconference.com). The three-day event is positioned to make a major impact on the global health, wellness and medical travel industries because, for the first time, medical and wellness representatives will be placed face-to-face with travel providers and travel sellers who have worldwide customer databases.

Participants from around the world are expected to attend, including key representatives from medical facilities, hospitals, dental facilities, spa/wellness facilities, insurance companies, tourist boards, travel agencies, and travel providers (including hotels and resorts, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines, car rental companies and ancillary travel services).

The co-sponsors of the event are Well-Being Travel (the go-to resource for medical and wellness travel) and Travel Market Report (an online travel trade publication that represents the voice of travel sellers worldwide).

"There are a variety of medical travel events being offered in the marketplace today, but none of them has yet provided a solution for a strong distribution system that effectively reaches consumers," said Anne Marie Moebes, Executive Vice President of Well-Being Travel. "That system must include: travel sellers who are already booking all types of travel for their dedicated clients; destinations who want to promote their countries to medical travelers; hospitals and doctors who provide the procedures and pre/post medical care; wellness practitioners who administer alternative treatments; and travel industry suppliers who need to understand what products and services this special market segment needs. The Well-Being Travel Conference 2012 brings together all the key players for the greatest benefit of patient travelers."
The event will explore medical and wellness tourism opportunities and set a direction for the future of this specialty market. Speakers from the world's best health and travel organizations will educate and motivate on topics such as:

- Marketing and sales strategies to effectively reach consumers
- Setting global accreditation standards
- How Ministries of Health and Ministries of Tourism can work together to boost the economy
- Insights from actual patient travelers
- Future of wellness and medical travel product innovations
- Growth in preventive wellness treatments abroad
- Trends in employee health benefits programs

At the Well-Being Travel Conference 2012, resources will be provided so that participants from every segment of each industry involved in medical and wellness travel will depart from the event with an action plan to implement specialized travel offerings.

To find out more about attending the Well-Being Travel Conference 2012 or participating as a sponsor, visit www.well-beingtravelconference.com or contact Debbie Press (888-854-0339 or dpress@well-beingtravel.com).


Hotels Bridging Healthcare Conference Announced

Registration is now open for June 2012 Hotels Bridging Healthcare conference

Registration is now open for Hotels Bridging Healthcare (H2H), a conference on hotel, wellness and medical tourism entrepreneurship designed to provide an overview of medical tourism today and the future and concept of H2H with wellness spas.

Organized by co-chairs Ali Poorani and Frederick DeMicco of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the University of Delaware, the conference will focus on the development, operation and branding of medical tourism services developed between hotels, resorts and medical facilities.

The conference will be held Saturday, June 16, through Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz Wellbeing and Medical Health Center in Switzerland. Participants can register online using the conference website

Other agenda items include panel presentations and discussions on the operational model of Bad Ragaz, the branding of cities and towns for medical tourism, financial and investment issues, potential infrastructure and legal issues and the impact on doctor/patient communication.

Max Koppel, M.D., clinical associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, has collaborated with Poorani and DeMicco and will preside as the H2H conference medical advisor.

According to Koppel, "the conference will advance the international availability of the highest quality care with fewer bureaucratic barriers. The conference will also focus on patient dignity, safety and expanded freedom of choice through the hospitality concept," said Koppel.

The conference is sponsored by Hospitality Associates for Research and Training (HART); the University of Delaware; the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics; the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management; and the College of Health Sciences.

Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

Medical Travel Today - the authoritative newsletter for the worldwide medical travel industry - is pleased to announce publication of a new book, "Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making.

Featuring 40 of the newsletter's most compelling interviews from the first five years of publication, the volume chronicles the explosive growth of international medical tourism as witnessed and experienced by some of the key stakeholders and players. A must-read for anyone interested or involved in the industry.


News in Review

Superbugs Spread to 40 Nations Threatening India Medical Tourism
sfgate.com
India's $12.4 billion pharmaceutical industry manufactures almost a third of the world's antibiotics, and people use them so liberally that relatively benign and beneficial bacteria are becoming drug-immune in a pool of resistance that thwarts even high-powered antibiotics, the so-called remedies of last resort.

Why Travel Agents Are Back From The Dead (And Why You Should Care)
Time.com - Travel agents were once the poster children for that Old Economy horror movie Things The Internet Will Destroy. From a high of 34,000 in the mid-1990s, the ranks of agencies has been sliced by more than half, to roughly 15,000 today.

Would you go to Turkey for teeth work, or Belgium for a boob job? What happens if it goes wrong
thisismoney.co.uk - Tens of thousands of medical tourists who go overseas for cheap operations are leaving themselves at risk if things go wrong.

More than 70,000 British residents each year jet off to other countries to have operations and procedures as a way of side-stepping National Health Service waiting lists or saving as much as £10,000.

Czechs launch surgical strike to boost medical tourism
ceskapozice.cz - Tourism promotion agency CzechTourism has launched Internet campaigns in and around half a dozen countries aimed at plugging into the ever-growing market for so-called "surgical stays."

Internet campaigns targeting Britain, Russia and other post-Soviet states, Germany, Switzerland and several rich Arab countries are vaunting the country's reputation for high quality and cheap surgical and healthcare treatment with the aim of attracting more medical tourists to the country.


Editor's Note: The information in Medical Travel Today is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The newsletter's providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of the information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused - directly or indirectly - by or from the information. All information should be considered a supplement to - and not a substitute for - the care provided by a licensed healthcare provider or other appropriate expert. The appearance of advertising in this newsletter should in no way be interpreted as a product or service endorsement by the newsletter's providers.