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© 2011 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

Demographic Shifts Aid Medical Tourism

Doctors Hospital to nearly double in size

Agency Expands Corp. Account into Med Travel Niche

Global Health Voyager to Offer HIPPA-Compliant Medical Records Storage to Medical Tourists

Professor Marcia Inhorn, Part One

Tele-Well Being: The Right Brain on the Move

Industry News

Spanish Doctors Announce World First in Fetal Surgery

West Virginia Selected as Site for Cutting-Edge Medical Initiative

Patient Travelers Give Candid Recaps of Medical Travel Experiences Abroad at Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012

The Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies Turns an Eye Towards the Commercialization of Stem Cell Therapies

U.S. Commercial Service and Leo A. Daly Host Symposium on Healthcare Tourism in Istanbul, Turkey

International Wellness Card launched

Upcoming Events


CPR Strategic Marketing Communication featured at IHPM's 12th Annual International Health & Productivity Management Conference

Exotic Medical Tourism Congress & Expo 2012 

Israeli Trip to Improve Medical Tourism

Costa Rican Medical Tourism Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica April 22-26

Vancouver scores a hat trick in Medical Congress bid wins

2012 Global Healthcare and Medical Tourism Conference: ‘Global Connected Care & 3rd MediTour Expo' Slated for May 6-8, 2012

Hotels Bridging Healthcare Conference Announced


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Global Health Voyager

Volume 6, Issue 6

by Amanda Haar, Editor


I learned a new term this week: Cross Border Reproductive Care (CBRC). It's a handy term as it's broad enough to cover care delivered anywhere in the world, and also encompasses all types of reproductive care - from surrogacy and egg donation to in-vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

I have Marcia Inhorn of Yale University, a leading expert in the field, to thank for teaching me the term and for sharing a great deal of insight into this unique area of medical travel. Through our conversation, Part One of which is featured in this week's issue, I came to appreciate how this sector is influenced not only by need, cost and geography, but also by the dominating ethics and regulations of individual countries. As far as I know, it's the only type of care delivery that has been altered by a ruling of the Roman Catholic Church.

This week I also had the opportunity to speak with Sebastian Viramontes of Hospital San José Tec de Monterrey in Mexico. He shared with me how the institution's medical travel efforts have evolved over time and what they're doing to overcome concerns regarding violence in the region. That interview is featured below.

As always, we welcome your comments, story ideas and press releases.


Amanda Haar, Editor

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


Professor Marcia Inhorn, Part One

Marcia C. Inhorn, William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University

Editor's Note: One of the presentations that garnered a lot of attention at the recent Center for Medical Tourism Research Conference in Austin, Texas, was Marcia Inhorn's Reproductive Tourism: Global Trends, Middle Eastern Perspectives. A Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at Yale University, Inhorn is a scholar focused on the subject of Cross Border Reproductive Care. Medical Travel Today spoke with Inhorn after the conference to learn more on her studies and trends in the reproductive travel industry.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Let's start with your interest in reproductive medical travel. How did that start?

Marcia Inhorn (MI): I have always been interested in infertility as a reproductive problem. The concept of people traveling to overcome infertility has always been part of the landscape.

Beginning in the late 1970's, when technologies were discovered to address infertility, people started traveling for in vitro fertilization (IVF). At that time we didn't call it that or, for that matter, even talk about it. In 1991 the trend was dubbed Procreative Tourism. But it's really only been in the last decade that people and the media began openly addressing the concept of people traveling for help with reproductive issues and pursuing technologies. For a time it was referred to as fertility tourism or reproductive tourism. But with the new millennium there's been a terminological shift. Reproductive societies no longer call it tourism. They recognize that a journey like this is not about touring or even vacationing. This type of travel is actually more like a quest. In fact, in some cases, the people seeking care are actually reproductive "exiles" - traveling because they're forced out of their home country for care.

The new term being applied to the industry is Cross Border Reproductive Care, or CBRC.

MTT: What is your research focus in CBRC?

MI: I'm actually a Middle Eastern Scholar. In 2007 I did a study in Dubai in which I interviewed over 200 people from 50 countries, each seeking reproductive technologies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

MTT: Fifty countries?

MI: Yes! They were from all over the world. The UAE is extremely cosmopolitan with a huge ex-pat community. There's a real flow of patients from Africa where there's a lack of IVF services. Dubai has a very generous visa policy. There's a significant number of patients from the UK because, even though the UK has state-subsidized IVF, you're actually put in a lottery. You can wait and wait for reproductive services. Some people don't have time to wait, so they fund their own care by traveling. Similarly, patients from South Asia - Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan - have limited access to care, and it can be very low quality. In Dubai they can get easier access and higher quality care. The UAE sees 38 million travelers every year. They're doing a very nice job developing themselves as a healthcare hub for reproductive services and other kinds of healthcare.

MTT: What other hubs are developing specific to reproductive care?

MI: Actually it's fascinating. There are quite a number of hubs emerging. Spain is the biggest hub for egg donation. Belgium pioneered a variant of IVF called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) that targets male infertility. They're really taking the lead in that area, as well as other reproductive technologies. Denmark is a hub for sperm donation. In fact, they export more sperm than any other country. India's establishing itself as a hub for transnational-gestational surrogacy. In the Muslim world, Iran is the most permissive country for reproductive technologies, and is a big draw for many Muslims who can't get services in their home country.

The other interesting shift is that the market for reproductive services is no longer limited to infertile couples. There's now a big push for services by gay couples and single men and women. Some countries require marriage licenses to access reproductive technologies. The result is that non-married individuals and couples are pursuing these technologies in another country.

Part Two of this conversation will be featured in the next issue of Medical Travel Today.

About Marcia C. Inhorn

Marcia C. Inhorn, Ph.D., MPH, is the William K. Lanman Jr., Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs in the Department of Anthropology and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is the current and founding editor of the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies (JMEWS) and has served as director of the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale (2008-2011) and the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan (2004-2006). She is one of seven medical anthropologists in Yale's Department of Anthropology. A specialist on Middle Eastern gender, religion and health issues, Inhorn has conducted research on the social impact of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Arab America over the past 25 years.


Tele-Well Being: The Right Brain on the Move

By Dr. Eric I. Mitchell

Tele-Well Being is a "design model" for a new healthcare delivery system for on-the-go travelers.  Its design is made up of utility and significance.  The utility, the need for healthcare, is a very important part of America because of our large senior population that's taking shape worldwide. The other part of the design equation is called the significance part of design. Design is a word that has grown out of America's post WWII abundance. Dr. Daniel H. Pink, the author of four provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work and a left-brain number cruncher, denotes that once the utility of an object is met, then the second part of design moves in, which becomes the model's significance, to the end user.

We all know that health is so important and traditional medicine usually only offers a solution when we get sick.  This new design model of Tele-Well Being is to answer the significance part of the healthcare equation, "how do we keep from getting sick in the first place?"  How do we maintain our well-being? Many people will not travel because of fear of being outside the reach of their medical provider, if they get sick or have a condition. The new equation is, how do we keep in touch with our health provider to stay well and control that condition? The answer to this on-the-move society is Telehealth via your anywhere Cyber Visit.

Creating a more efficient, convenient and potentially more cost-effective delivery of care and well-being must be the prime reason for this article.  Enabling more informed decisions, making and enhancing quality of care will depend greatly on access to bandwidth, which is a given for this model. With the increase in bandwidth from cell providers to fiber optic companies, bandwidth is here and becoming global. We have become an on-the-go society, with planes trains and buses. Telehealth is the perfect travel companion, but you, the consumer, must request it because we as providers are still a little stuck in the post-industrial revolution of "call for an appointment and come to my office."

I am a Baby Boomer who did all the right things that my parents told me to do. I had to get good grades, go to college, get a good job and buy a house.  Then wait for retirement! I did all of the above and then some. I went on to medical school and became a doctor.  I was trained with the standard formulae of treatment of disease, not prevention of disease.  In fact, I had little or no preventive medicine or nutrition as I attended an Ivy League Medical school two scores ago. But who's counting?  As we Boomers love to say, "I am not young any more, but I am not yet old."  We just have to find how to take out the negative space so our picture can become clear.

The main challenge in care for your health today stems from differences between the thought processes of nurses/doctors and engineers. Engineering education is by numbers, graphs and grids, whereas medical education is all by colors, pictures, shapes and visual inspection. Clinicians think in terms of lists, and rule out one by one to reach a decision: its intuitive thinking from the right side of the brain. One number or a set of numbers must be added to this complex structure called the human body and only then can the state of well-being be made.  I have called this Tele-Well-Being. 

E-mails and cell phones are being used to increase access to healthcare, but the right brain is being left out of the picture when this occurs. A look-em-in-the-eye component must be included in every definition of the word "TeleHealth." The early 1970's TV show, the "Jetson's," used telehealth in their space-age lifestyle. Today, jet-set lifestyles can take some lessons for the cartoons on our Tele-Well Being. We can now "tune in" with both the left and right sides of our brain in the equation, with real-time video that can promote your tele-well being. We just can't "beam me up Scotty," yet!

About Dr. Eric I. Mitchell
At present, Dr. Mitchell is the President /CEO of a budding telehealth company, TelMed Group.  Telehealth is not new to Dr. Mitchell, for he has a 20-history in this type of healthcare delivery system. Early innovation in this delivery system was gained via the United States Army dating back to the early 1980's, creating a video medical connection that transverses the chasm between the institution of medicine and our home. His plight is to unite and bridge these two locations with quality healthcare outcomes as the common objectives.  He is using his clinical background and his world-wide technical knowledge to develop an answer to our impending healthcare disaster.

Dr. Mitchell has worked to combine leadership with strategic vision.  He has taken multiple organizational structures (hospitals, Army Commands 06, Occupational Medical Centers) to the highest level with innovative intrinsic thinking and directional objectives. This has been accomplished by the willingness to take calculated risks for the potential and expected gains.


Industry News

Spanish Doctors Announce World First in Fetal Surgery

Editor's Note: Exciting, if not somewhat delayed, news from Spain where we learned that doctors from two Barcelona hospitals performed a fetal surgery to fix a blocked bronchial tube in developing baby girl in late 2010.

"It is the first time in the world that this has been achieved. It is the first time that it has been tried and it turned out well," said the head of the Maternal-fetal Medicine Department at Hospital Clinic, Eduard Gratacos.

To read more click here.

Industry News

West Virginia Selected as Site for Cutting-Edge Medical Initiative

A forward-thinking medical initiative, which will dramatically impact how healthcare is delivered around the world, is being developed in West Virginia. Jim Justice, chairman and owner of The Greenbrier, along with world-renowned physicians Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Tom Graham, Michael Immel, orthopedic practice management consultant and long-time advisor to Dr. Jim Andrews, and lauded healthcare developer Jack T. Diamond, today announced the creation of The Greenbrier Medical Institute. While the Institute will be built in phases, the initial stages are estimated at $250 million. Phase I will include five buildings, including a relocated and expanded executive health Greenbrier Clinic, a Jim Andrews sports medicine center, a cosmetic surgery and lifestyle enhancement academy, a sports performance and training facility and a boutique hotel with 20 VIP suites. The announcement is the result of 15 months of meetings and diligence on the part of numerous individuals, including other highly regarded physicians and professionals who requested not to be identified.

The concept for this cutting-edge endeavor was developed by Andrews, Graham and Diamond, who envisioned a world-class medical complex that would revolutionize healthcare. In addition, Dr. E. Gaylon McCollough, an internationally recognized surgeon and teacher in the cosmetic surgery field, has joined the team. Their goal was to establish a medical mecca with numerous components, including sports performance, wellness, research, product development, education, cosmetic surgery, preventive care and other specialties. At the same time, they wanted a place that would attract the best physicians and healthcare professionals in the world, in turn creating a think tank of global proportions. Throughout their discussions, locations such as London, England, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Brasilia, Brazil and Seoul, South Korea, were considered.

However, once the idea was presented to Justice, the concept became a reality with its home to be White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

"This announcement is the result of months of confidential meetings and due diligence. Our founding members have been investigating various locations across the globe to determine just the right combination of healthcare resources, world-class amenities, serenity, hospitality and proximity to thought leaders," said Diamond. "When we approached Jim about the idea, he only asked what he could do to make our dream a reality. We knew then we had found the perfect partner."

For Justice, who bought the 6,750-acre resort in 2009, the decision was practical and emotional. "Over 200 years ago, people came here to improve their health -- soaking in the sulphur water, using hollowed-out trees for bathtubs. That's how The Greenbrier was born," said Justice. "Now, we are redefining healthcare with the expertise of these highly regarded professionals, a state-of-the-art medical facility and forum for research and education. And we are doing it right here in West Virginia. How exciting is that?"

The Greenbrier Clinic was the nation's first executive health program when it opened in 1948. The Clinic's distinguished team of nine physicians includes Dr. Doug Jones, medical director, and Dr. Suzanne Romeo, director of the Clinic's laser and aesthetic services. Long known as the leaders in diagnostic excellence and personalized executive care, The Clinic team will be a key component of The Greenbrier Medical Institute, which will employ approximately 525 individuals.

One component of the Institute will be a sports medicine center, led by Andrews, along with Dr. Kevin Workman and Dr. Bob Haas of Greenbrier Valley Physical Therapy. Workman and Haas have extensive experience in athletic rehabilitation, which complements Andrew's surgical expertise. "This will be a comprehensive diagnostic and clinical orthopedic sports medicine complex combined with a sports enhancement and training facility. This Institute is a unique combination of the world's leading physicians and healthcare experts coming together and acting as a 'think tank' to stimulate medical research, drive innovation, force change and redefine how the world and individuals approach health, wellness and longevity," said Andrews. Workman, along with Dr. P. Gunnar Brolinson, team physician at Virginia Tech, will play an integral role in the Institute's neurological (brain and spine) sports medicine center, which will focus on the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of neurological impact injuries (concussion) and sports related spine injuries. This will be the first of its kind and, when affiliated with the sports medicine component, will provide a range of sports injury/performance-related services that will be unparalleled anywhere in the world. The center will provide leaders in the neurological sports medicine profession a format for collaboration, research and innovation in this rapidly advancing field.

There have been ongoing discussions with the WVU Health Sciences Center along with the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicineand the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. These relationships will prove greatly beneficial to these institutions as well as to The Greenbrier Medical Institute.

This alliance of multi-disciplinary professionals will also develop a global "think tank" for idea exchange to stimulate medical research and innovation. "Advancing medical innovation saves and extends lives, improves the quality of our existence, increases access to doctors, and promotes fiscal responsibility," said Graham, the chief innovation officer of the Cleveland Clinic. "Jim is a one-man stimulus package, and medical innovation is what stimulates our economy and drives the identity of our nation. The Greenbrier Medical Institute will be a contemporary medical congress that will bring together premier medical professionals in a unique environment dedicated to complete lifestyle enhancement."

Full-body rejuvenation and appearance enhancement are other facets of The Greenbrier Medical Institute. Under McCollough's leadership, the center's cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons will not only improve the way patients look, but how they see, and care for, themselves. According to McCollough, "People who do the things that are required to look their best tend to find better health. Once patients understand how appearance, health, and performance are interconnected, they will be eager to work with other Institute professionals in order to lose unwanted fat, build muscle, become more physically and mentally fit, improve endurance and feel more confident in taking on challenges, which unhappy and unhealthy people see as impossible."

The Greenbrier Medical Institute complex, designed by architect Willie Stokes, will feature classic Georgian architecture similar to the resort's façade. A replica of the Springhouse, the site of the property's sulphur springs, will be incorporated into the facility. The Institute will include guest suites for patients and their families. Diamond and his partner Mark E. Krohn are leading the development of this extensive project. For more information, please visit www.greenbrier.com or call 800-624-6070.

Industry News

Patient Travelers Give Candid Recaps of Medical Travel Experiences Abroad at Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012

A specially assembled panel of patient travelers will candidly discuss their experiences traveling abroad for medical and dental procedures at the upcoming "Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012." The event will take place on June 20-21, 2012, at The Phoenician luxury resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. (www.well-beingtravelconference.com)

The session is a must-see educational opportunity for anyone interested in selling medical tourism, which is one of the fastest-growing niche markets in the travel industry. The "Real-Life Experiences of Globe-Trotting Patient Travelers" panel will be moderated by David Boucher, president and COO, Companion Global Healthcare, and a pioneer in medical travel, with over 25 years of healthcare administration experience from the perspectives of both the health plan and medical facility. Participants will talk in detail about their medical experiences in Thailand, Turkey and Costa Rica. Attendees can use this critical information to enhance the service they provide to clients interested in health-related travel.

About the panel, Boucher said, "Despite the speculation by some stateside critics that international medical travel is an 'outlandish' concept, the speakers in this session will demonstrate otherwise. We will hear first-hand testimonials of Americans who travelled abroad with the sole intent to receive care in overseas countries…and all are now flag-waving disciples of this trend."

The event is being co-sponsored by: Well-Being Travel (the go-to resource for medical tourism, bringing together the medical and travel industries in a breakthrough partnership); Travel Market Report (www.travelmarketreport.com - an online travel industry news media written in the voice of and designed to be a forum for travel sellers across the globe); and Medical Travel Today (www.medicaltraveltoday.com - an independent voice of the medical travel industry).

To find out more about attending the Well-Being and Medical 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).

Industry News

The Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies Turns an Eye Towards the Commercialization of Stem Cell Therapies

Editor's Note: A recent piece by Melanie Swan on the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies (ieet.org) suggests that, more than any other industry, stem cell therapies are poised to make a significant near-term impact on worldwide public health.

In addition to the most obvious use of stem cells, Swan also acknowledges their value in disease modeling, drug discovery and drug toxicity assessment, and examines policy issues and, what she deems, broken public health and drug development models.

To read the article, click here.

Industry News

U.S. Commercial Service and Leo A. Daly Host Symposium on Healthcare Tourism in Istanbul, Turkey

Leo A. Daly shares healthcare design and programming expertise with Turkey's healthcare leaders

ISTANBUL, TURKEY-Feb. 27, 2012 --  The U.S. Commercial Service and international architecture, planning, engineering, interiors and program management firm Leo A. Daly hosted a symposium entitled "Healthcare Tourism: Medical, Wellness, Geriatrics Design Trends and New Technologies" at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey, on Feb. 21, 2012.

The event was organized to help broaden the knowledge base of Turkey's private healthcare sector educators, officials, investors and facility operators who are participating in new initiatives to expand the country's healthcare tourism industry. It was supported by the Turkish Health Tourism Organization (TUHETO), a group that works to position Turkey as a global healthcare destination for patients seeking cutting-edge medical treatments and facilities. More than 60 healthcare professionals attended.

The symposium featured Leo A Daly healthcare experts who presented the firm's most innovative healthcare design and planning projects, and discussed how they advise global clients in planning for and accommodating innovation, technology, future growth, care trends and sustainable design in their facilities. The speakers also covered topics including trends in wellness, clinical innovations, pediatric care and geriatrics/senior living.

With more than 60 years of expertise in the healthcare sector, Leo A Daly is a leader in creating innovative designs for hospitals and medical centers throughout the world. The firm is a major proponent and practitioner of evidence-based design strategies, providing sustainable and technology-driven solutions for its clients.
Following the symposium, the Leo A Daly team members visited with several members of parliament, TUHETO, and the TBMM Health Commission in Ankara, Turkey, to discuss healthcare trends and share a business analysis for the future of healthcare tourism.

Earlier this month, Mr. Leo A. Daly III, FAIA, RIBA, FRAIA, CEO and president of Leo A Daly, visited Turkey to meet with leaders, including U.S. Consul General Scott Kilner, and several Turkish ministers and mayors. An interview with Mr. Daly during his visit is featured in the February issue of Konsept Projeler, Turkey's lifestyle and design magazine.

This spring, Leo A Daly will present the content from the healthcare tourism symposium to investors, educators and stakeholders in New York City, to be followed by additional presentations in Jeddah, Dubai, London and Moscow.

Industry News

International Wellness Card launched

The Economic Times - Facilitating easy medical access to patients from abroad, healthcare major Prime India today launched the International Wellness Card here. 

The end-to-end approach in the form of an International Wellness Card will enable patients from abroad to gain access to a host of e-health services, medical tourism educational kits and discounted rates on medical services and products, Ramesh Balasubramanian, Business Head, Medical Tourism, Prime India, told reporters here. 

The card will be available for patients from 12 countries - Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and Dubai -- to have medical access to hospitals having ties with Prime India, he said. 

"We have tie-ups with over 45 hospitals in the country. The card will help patients to have an easy access to medical services in these hospitals. More than just a card, we'll also electronically store the medical records of our clients, so that they need not carry them around wherever they go," Balasubramanian said. 

Prime India has launched two cards in two marketing segments - gold and platinum.

Industry News


March, 2012 (Oyster Bay, NY) - The "Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012" -- which will take place on June 19-21, 2012 at The Phoenician luxury resort in Scottsdale, Arizona (www.well-beingtravelconference.com - has announced a special sweepstakes for early registrants.

Any one who registers by April 15 will be entered to win an ultra-pampering personal spa package at the Centre for Well-Being at the 5-star Phoenician luxury resort. A $300 value, the prize-winning package includes a choice of two 50-minute spa services (from stimulating facials to soothing massages and renewing body treatments).So while participants are learning more about how to expertly meet their traveling clients' well-being needs, they can indulge in a special health treat for themselves as well. Any one who has already registered for the event will be included in the drawing.

The "Well-Being and Medical Travel Conference 2012" will explore health, wellness and medical tourism opportunities. This event is positioned to make a major impact on these quickly growing industries because, for the first time, wellness and medical representatives will be exchanging insights on critical topics with travel providers and travel sellers who have worldwide customer databases. 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 market specialized travel offerings.

The event is being co-sponsored by Well-Being Travel (the go-to resource for medical tourism, bringing together the medical and travel industries in a breakthrough partnership); Travel Market Report (www.travelmarketreport.com) (an online travel industry news media written in the voice of and designed to be a forum for travel sellers across the globe); and Medical Travel Today (www.medicaltraveltoday.com) (an independent voice of the medical travel industry).

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


Upcoming Events

The First Diyarbakir Health Tourism Congress to be held May 11-13, 2012

The I. International Diyarbakir Health Tourism Congress to be held in Diyarbakir will be attended by Ministers, Members of Parliament, public institutions, Chambers of Trade and Commerce and Municipalities, representatives of various hospitals and healthcare organizations and many non-governmental organizations, along with high ranking representatives of the World Health Organization, the European Union, D-8 Countries, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Countries and the Middle East.

Slated speakers and guests include representative of Germany, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, France, Russia, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Topics to be addressed include: "The Duties and Responsibilities of Politics in the Development of Diyarbakir's and the Region's Health Tourism Potential" and "Cooperation and Investment in Developing Health Tourism in Diyarbakir and the Region".

Chairwoman of the Middle East Health Tourism Council Surgeon, Dr. Esin Tan stated that with this congress aims to be a first great step towards contributing to regional economic development by increasing the international recognition and the branding of Diyarbakir and regional cities in the field of health tourism.

For detailed information on the subject you can visit: www.orsakon.org

CPR Strategic Marketing Communication featured at IHPM's 12th Annual International Health & Productivity Management Conference

A Global Experience in the Future of Health & Productivity
April 2-4, 2012
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL

The annual Institute for Health & Productivity Management Conference taking place in Orlando, Florida 2-4 April 2012, has drawn an international line-up of speakers and delegates from Europe, the USA and Asia, including Medical Travel Today's own Laura Carabello. Carabello will address the conference on the morning of Wednesday, April 4th on the topic of  Medical Tourism: The Globalization of Health Care Delivery

The Congress program addresses all aspects of corporate health including behavioural health, reducing global burden of chronic disease, changing the way to finance healthcare and workforce health as a national policy.

Special rates for international delegates are available click here to download registration form.

Click here for the full program.

Exotic Medical Tourism Congress & Expo 2012 

The Exotic Medical Tourism Congress & Expo 2012 will be held in the Maldives islands May 7-11, 2012. The Congress is intended to serve as an excellent platform to discuss strategies and trends in the emerging medical tourism sphere, as well as to network in the exotic setting of the Maldives.

The Congress will feature leading healthcare and business professionals, health insurance companies, medical tourism facilitators, international hospitals and medical service providers, law firms, government officials, and associated partners from around the globe to participate, exhibit, and share. To learn more or register click here.

The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism Announces FORUM East 2012 Conference

On April 12-13, HR executives, benefits management professionals, brokers and health plan administrators will gather in Atlanta's Cobb Galleria Centre for The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism's (IHC) FORUM East conference. Its counterpart, IHC FORUM West, will be held in Las Vegas on Sept. 6-7.

Now in its third year, the IHC FORUM (formerly CDHC Solutions FORUM) remains the only conference series 100 percent dedicated to innovative health and benefits management. This year's theme, The Journey to HealthCare Consumerism, focuses on equipping businesses to transition successfully to cost-effective consumer-driven health plans while complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

True to the IHC's tagline, the event offers numerous opportunities to LEARN, CONNECT and SHARE.  With 24 workshops and five general sessions led by the industry's foremost thought leaders and policymakers, the event promises to arm attendees with practical tools they need to successfully navigate the country's shifting health and benefits landscape. FORUM attendees also will have the chance to glean best practices from peers who have effectively implemented healthcare consumerism programs, and network with professionals from across the entire health and benefits spectrum.

"Companies today are challenged with reducing healthcare spend, complying with new healthcare laws and turning disengaged employees into involved, well-educated consumers," says Doug Field, IHC founder and CEO. "We've lined up top-notch speakers and workshops to give our attendees proven, real-life solutions at a fraction of the cost of other conferences. We're really excited about this year's FORUM."  

Join us at the only event 100% dedicated to HealthCare Consumerism,
the 3rd Annual IHC FORUM in Atlanta, Georgia on April 12-13, 2012


  • Our conference is on the Cutting Edge of what is going on with Health Care Benefits today - HR Certification Credits available
  • Workshops for All Stages and Phases of where your health benefits are now and where you want to go
  • Consumerism 101 Pre-Conference Workshop for those just learning about health care consumerism
  • Small Round Table Sharing Sessions with your peers and an industry leader
  • Innovation Showcase to see the latest innovations and products that you can use today to save your company money
  • Take-away's you can start using right away to save on your health benefit costs

Registration includes:

Five general sessions led by top industry thought leaders and subject matter experts
• Your choice of three hands-on workshops
• Opening Night reception
Free breakfast and lunch
• Conference workbook
• Online access to all workshop presentations
• Chance to win multiple sponsor prizes


Costa Rican Medical Tourism Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica April 22-26

PROMED, the Council for the International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine is once again hosting the 3rd Annual Medical Travel Conference in Costa Rican on April 22-26. PROMED is a private not-for-profit organization, which coordinates the quality control and international promotion efforts of the medical tourism industry. Its goal is to ensure the quality of services provided by the private health industry in Costa Rica as the country becomes a major center for global medicine and medical tourism.

The purpose of this conference is to give insurance company executives, employee benefit managers, health underwriters, insurance agents, third-party administrators and other interested parties the opportunity to experience first- hand what the hospitals and physicians of Costa Rica and other Latin American countries have to offer. This conference will generate more than 750 business meetings, and the organizers expect more than 400 participants and 75 exhibitors from throughout Latin America. Top-level healthcare industry speakers, many from the US, will address topics related to the medical tourism industry and healthcare. 

It is an ideal time for employee benefit providers, insurance companies, TPAs, health insurance agents and anyone who is concerned about the rising cost of healthcare to learn about the benefits of medical tourism, especially in nearby Latin America. One of the main ways to bring down healthcare costs in the US is for employers to offer a medical and dental tourism option.

Healthcare costs in the US have exploded in recent years, and costs will continue to grow as more health and dental benefits are cut and the number of doctor's drop out of the system. However, these same procedures are very affordable in Costa Rica. People are saving up to 70% on dental and medical procedures using internationally accredited providers in Costa Rica. Many people and/or employers who have to pay out of pocket do not realize they have other options like medical tourism, which can keep them healthy and save money at the same time. Working with the finest private hospitals and physicians in Costa Rica will help people save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on certain dental and medical care procedures.

"If you're considering medical tourism for your company or for your clients, the Medical Travel Summit in Costa Rica is the only medical tourism conference you need to attend," said Tim Morales of Costa Rican Medical Care. "With many of the providers being centrally located, you will visit as part of the Summit many of the hospitals and dental clinics. You'll have the chance to meet the dentists, doctors and their staffs. You'll really get a feel of the quality of the providers, and you'll be able to interact and ask questions. Many past attendees will be returning for their third trip."

If you would like more information on attending this conference in Costa Rican, please visit their website http://www.costaricanmedicaltourism.com or call 262-834-8199

Vancouver scores a hat trick in Medical Congress bid wins

Tourism Vancouver and the Vancouver Convention Centre have announced that Vancouver has been selected as the host city for three prestigious medical conferences taking place in 2015. 
All three conventions resulted from the leadership and dedication demonstrated by influential Vancouverites who worked with Tourism Vancouver's Be A Host program to bring their associations' meetings to the city. 

The latest batch of successful bid proposals include:

  1. World Congress of Dermatology. The world's largest international gathering of dermatologists will meet in Vancouver in June of 2015.
  2. International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (ISCBFM). In late June 2015, approximately 1,000 delegates will travel to Vancouver for the ISCBFM's 26th symposium.
  3. International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) World Congress. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada proposed a bid to host the FIGO World Congress in Vancouver during their 2006 meeting in the city.  

2012 Global Healthcare and Medical Tourism Conference: ‘Global Connected Care & 3rd MediTour Expo' Slated for May 6-8, 2012

MediTour Expo announced its 2012 Global Healthcare and Medical Tourism Conference: "Global Connected Care & 3rd MediTour Expo," will be held May 6-8, 2012, at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

This two-day conference will feature specialized topics on the globalization of healthcare. Leading technology and healthcare professionals will come together to present and discuss new global healthcare strategies, the latest trends in telemedicine and technology applications as well as insurance and quality issues. The conference will showcase presentations by some of global healthcare's most influential leaders including Dr. Jay Sanders, M.D., FACP, FACAAI, president and CEO of the Global Telemedicine Group, adjunct professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and founding board member and president emeritus of the American Telemedicine Association. Expecting to draw delegates from all around the world, this event is a must for those looking to increase contacts in the international healthcare industry.

The conference will also offer exhibit halls, discussion panels and workshops and numerous networking opportunities throughout.

According to Ian Jacobs, CEO of MediTour Expo and Arlen Meyers, M.D., MBA, president of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, this conference will provide education, business opportunities and a networking forum for the global healthcare and medical tourism Industry while identifying and removing barriers to adoption and diffusion. 

Below are some of the event's highlights:

  • Global Physician Referral Networks and Patient Care - How to Build a Global Practice 

  • Self-Funded Insurance Groups -- Providing Healthcare Travel Alternatives

  • M-health, Telemedicine and Electronic Healthcare Information Platforms

  • Business Processes and Advanced Global Healthcare Marketing Strategies

  • Integrating Global Healthcare Technologies with Medical Travel  

  • Legal Issues in Global Care

  • Workshops in Global Practice Management, Insurance Reimbursement & Payment, Business Processes, and Legal & Regulatory issues in Global Care

  • Private meeting rooms for business meetings

For information and registration, visit http://meditourexpo.net. For sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, email: Joanne@meditourexpo.net.

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.


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 19-21, 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.

An early bird registration rate will be available through January 31, 2012. 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).

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

Demographic Shifts Aid Medical Tourism tribunemedia.net - Medical tourism could prove extremely beneficial to the Bahamas given the elderly demographic shifts in the US, a local physician said yesterday, with this population segment growing by "leaps and bounds."

Speaking with Tribune Business at the 40th Medical Association of the Bahamas (MAB) conference, Dr. Agreta Eneas-Carey, a consultant in charge of the Geriatric Hospital, said: "I think medical tourism is something that would benefit us because of our location.

Doctors Hospital to nearly double in size
Nassau Guardian - Doctors Hospital has designed an extension to the main Shirley Street location that would nearly double its size. While providing superior care of Bahamians, the project could enable the private hospital to increase the medical tourism product by more than 30 percent.

Agency Expands Corp. Account into Med Travel Niche
Travel Market Report -  Managing medical travel is like managing business travel, but with one huge difference: every medical traveler and every trip is unique. That has been the experience for Minneapolis-based CTS/American Express Travel, which expanded a...

Global Health Voyager to Offer HIPPA-Compliant Medical Records Storage to Medical Tourists
Medical tourism facilitator Global Health Voyager has announced a new data partnership to provide medical tourists with HIPPA-compliant records storage. Through an exclusive contract with Janus Medical Systems, Global Health Voyager will offer its patients and members the ability to store their entire family's medical records in one secure place.

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.