Editorial

Driving The Momentum

Editorial

The Momentum has never been stronger for the medical tourism industry and the Medical Tourism Association. The interest in medical tourism is reaching its highest global peak ever and the MTA has more initiatives in motion for 2011-2013 than ever before. We have launched more projects and to support and sustain the current growth of the industry as well as to infuse even faster and broader ranged growth for patients traveling for healthcare.


MTA initiatives are threefold in effect: to raise awareness of the high quality, affordable opportunities to travel for healthcare for the individual consumer; to educate with a purpose of long term adoption and implementation of international healthcare options by international employers and insurance companies; and to educate local and federal governments worldwide to foster improved and increased Public Private Partnerships of stakeholders and to generate the increased support of governments and NGO’s for the initiatives of hospitals and healthcare providers to raise the quality and delivery of care to local and international patients.

MTA will be releasing the results of its extensive survey conducted this year which had an overwhelming response. We have learned there is a tremendous growth of interest from Insurance and Employer groups worldwide. And while we have heard marketing and consulting firms talk down about the US market, disenchanted with the rate of implementation for medical tourism programs or serving their own personal agendas in other countries. What we found through the surveys is that the educational programs we have developed through webinars, workshops and conference have really started to take effect.


Specifically in the US market, a large IMO is creating a membership group starting from 10,000 initial members up to 100,000 licensed insurance agents to provide information on healthcare reform and also medical tourism so these agents can present to their clients. These educational networks are an important big step towards obtaining buy-in for from the employers they recommend products to. So stay tuned, they are fired up!

The greatest announcement for our Membership this year is the opportunities evolved from the launch of www.MedicalTourism.com website under MTA management. We are excited to announce that our new patient/consumer awareness website is up and running at www.Medicaltourism.com. Totally redesigned with a new look, feel and user accessibility options, the site will be translated into eight different languages. In the next few weeks the Arabic and Spanish versions will be up and running with Russian, Chinese, and Japanese to follow immediately thereafter. The MTA is dedicating a good amount of resources to boost the content and accessibility of information to raise awareness of medical tourism and to achieve a central point of information for patients to access timely data on destinations, procedures and providers in various regions. We expect to add thousands of pages of content to the website over the next twelve months.

One of our new branding programs is the Healthcare and Medical Tourism Destination Guides which will be in print and online free of charge at www.MedicalTourism.com, providing patients and consumers unlimited access to detailed information about various cities and countries offering healthcare services to traveling patients. The first destination healthcare guide will be unveiled on the website by October 25th, just in time for the MTA’s annual conference.

This year’s conference, October 25-28th is going to be our best yet with excellent content and improved networking and virtual exhibition opportunities as well as onsite exhibition in a convention hall. The theme of this year’s event is “Patients in Emerging Markets.” October 25, 2011 is dedicated to our members with access to exclusive roundtables and presentations and workshops. A majority of our speakers this year are new speakers whose perspectives will inspire and educate.

If you are considered a “buyer of healthcare,” be sure to apply for our “Buyers of Healthcare VIP Pass,” as we will be covering the cost of up to 400 buyers this year from all over the globe. It will be a great event with inspiring Keynote Speakers and we will be announcing the winners of the International Medical Tourism Leadership Awards during the conference. I am proud of the healthcare leaders and faculty that have applied and have been nominated for these distinguished awards.

Since we have partially integrated our conference this year with the Employer Healthcare Congress, which is one of the largest US health insurance conferences, we anticipate the greatest exposure to networking opportunities to date for medical tourism attendees to have with employers and the insurance industry. Attendees will also have a great opportunity of networking with international insurance companies and employers through the full integration of the Global Benefits and International Insurance Conference that is organized within the medical tourism conference this year.

Why Chicago? Chicago is well known for being a leader in reforming public schools, enhancing public safety and security initiatives, providing affordable housing in attractive and economically sound communities, ensuring accessibility for all and fostering, social, economic and environmental sustainability. It is also the central location of many of the largest employers in the USA and globally. And, most importantly, it is one of the largest cities of populations of international medical associations, consular offices and offers direct flights from all over the globe. We look forward to seeing you there!

About The Author

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.

Renee-Marie consults international government ministries, private sector organizations and NGO’s 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 Renee@MedicalTourismAssociation.com

Learn about how you can become a Certified Medical Tourism Professional→