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Destination Spotlight

Barcelona Medical Centre: An Interview with Mauro Batesteza ~ Head of International Marketing

Destination Spotlight

Mauro Batesteza, Head of International Marketing at Barcelona Medical Centre in Spain spoke on a panel session at the World Medical Tourism Congress about ”European Healthcare at Its Best for Medical Tourism.”  After the panel session, we had the chance to interview Batesteza about Barcelona Medical Centre and his experience at the Congress.  “During the past two years, Barcelona Medical Centre representatives have been attending some of the medical tourism conferences.

This World Medical Tourism Congress was very well organized and it was good to meet with the main representatives of the industry,” exclaims Batesteza.  He further went on to say, “Also, hospitals were able to meet with the main patient providers such as insurance companies and facilitators.  

Therefore, not only did hospitals and patient providers attend the Congress, but also other important actors in the industry such as representatives of the American Medical Association (AMA), World Health Organization (WHO), insurance companies, universities, and many other entities.

Barcelona Medical Centre (BCM) is a unique project in Europe.  Twenty years ago, the most important private clinics and hospitals in Barcelona came together as one organization to promote Barcelona as a Medical Tourism Destination.  Barcelona Medical Centre is not only in charge of promoting Barcelona’s healthcare capabilities, but also in charge of giving the international patient the “special” attention that they need.  

“We try to give a ‘Medical Tourist’ full support on non-medical issues that include translation, transportation arrangements, and their hotel while at the same time putting it all together in a very personal way,” reports Batesteza.

For the first 18 years, the aim of BCM was to organize different meetings around the world, especially in Latin America.  In the last two years, BCM has shifted their aim, specifically because the medical tourism market increased.  Barcelona historically is not new in the Medical Tourism market.  

Without having a specific promotion on Medical Tourism, Barcelona has always been a reference country in medicine and health care for different parts of the world, especially the Middle East Countries.  According to the Department of Health, today Barcelona receives approximately five thousand outpatients and another five thousand inpatients.

Batesteza says further, “At Barcelona Medical Centre, we have put together 11 specialized centers inclusive of cardiology, radiotherapy, pediatrics, dental and ophthalmology centers.  There are also eight general hospitals.”  As a result, patients may be assured that they will not be placed on a wait list for any specialization.

The BCM is also accredited by the Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA), European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and all the hospitals in the organization have the mandatory Department of Health Accreditation.

Barcelona’s target for the future is to promote Barcelona Private Healthcare and increase the amount of patients coming from abroad to Barcelona.  “Essentially, what we find to be the most important task, is to make Barcelona City known as a ‘world class’ destination for medical tourism that rivals Germany, Switzerland, Paris or London.”    

In working toward this aim, Barcelona‘s competitive price structure combined with the city’s reputation worldwide for tourism, is a great opportunity ahead for Barcelona’s position in the Medical Tourism industry.  The expansion of Carnival Cruise Lines into Barcelona has made this city a top destination for the American Market and has brought in a half million Americans each year.

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