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Back to where it all began


In May 2007 a little idea turned into a big reality when the Medical Tourism Association was started. Founded on a notion of need for direction and collaboration the trade association was brought to life with new and innovative means of bringing stakeholders together to collaborate on industry trends and requirements for strong growth in the future.The first of such projects was the creation of Medical Tourism Magazine with its first release in December 2007.

As subject matter for that issue I took a trip to Costa Rica to see what all the hype was about this country so well known for dentistry and cosmetic procedures. You may remember my summary of the healthcare and tourism experienced during the trip in Issue One. (See things have changed since that time. Costa Rica now is very well known for orthopedics spinal surgeries bariatric procedures and cardiology. A healthcare cluster called ProMed was developed to bring the stakeholders together and to work collaboratively to establish high quality certification criteria for its members.

At the conference during the first week of May 2011 much was said about the development of healthcare clusters around the globe. I presented case studies of Jordan Korea Singapore and Thailand and representatives from Colombia Argentina and Panama added theirs to provide a good feel for where themarket started in those regions to where it is today.

In this issue of Medical Tourism Magazine we have brought to light many other beginnings which we have called International Firsts. Our intention is to raise awareness of some of the top international state of the art procedures which were performed across the globe and likely are unfamiliar to you. We may know these procedures exist but where did they begin? How were they developed? By whom?

Just as the Medical Tourism Association was the first international trade association for the medical tourism industry we are seeing more and more groups of stakeholders working together for the first time putting their competition aside for a common goal. We see public and private sector working together in some cases for the first time as well. In the upcoming issues of Medical Tourism Magazine we will be featuring a new healthcare cluster case study where one message one voice serves the interests of the masses.

Feel free to provide us with updates.Renee-Marie Stephano is the President of the Medical Tourism Association. Ms. Stephano is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Tourism Magazine Health Tourism Magazine and Healthcare Development Magazine.Having a background in international marketing and relations health law and litigation she provides a valuable service to the Medical Tourism Association in these fields.

Ms. Stephano speaks regularly at international healthcare conferences on the Legal Issues Surrounding Medical Tourism and in the United States to employer groups insurance groups and physician associations.

About The Author

Renee-Marie consults international government ministries private sector organizations and NGOs about the growth of the global healthcare industry and accreditation providing marketing assistance to promote their countries high quality of care. Ms. Stephano works with governments and healthcare clusters in the development of their Medical Tourism Initiatives. Ms. Stephano recently is the co-author of three books : Developing an International Patient Center:

A Guide to Creating the Best Patient Experience the book The Medical Tourism Facilitator: A Best Practices Guide to Healthcare Facilitation for International Patients and the book: Medical Tourism ~ An International Healthcare Guide For Insurers Employers and Governments. Ms. Stephano can be reached at

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Disclaimer: The content provided in Medical Tourism Magazine ( is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We do not endorse or recommend any specific healthcare providers, facilities, treatments, or procedures mentioned in our articles. The views and opinions expressed by authors, contributors, or advertisers within the magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of our company. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained in Medical Tourism Magazine ( or the linked websites. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We strongly advise readers to conduct their own research and consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions related to medical tourism, healthcare providers, or medical procedures.
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