WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA--(Marketwire - Oct. 14, 2010) - Developments in the burgeoning field of medical tourism were discussed at the 3rd Annual Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, which recently took place in Los Angeles, USA. The event, which was organized by the Medical Tourism Association (MTA), attracted over 1,200delegates from over 84 countrieswho came to participate in a three-day program of discussions and seminars about healthcare travel, as well as to take the opportunity to mix with industry peers from the global private and public healthcare sectors. The sold-out programwas hailed by its organizers as an absolute success, with those interviewed giving the occasion a resounding thumbs up.
"We were able to effectively carry out all of our planned initiatives for this congress of extending networking opportunities, holdinginformative sessions and creating knowledge sharing possibilities between government, insurance, healthcare, and tourism professionals. The exhibitors were pleased with the new found business prospects while our incredible speakers provided a learning platform for industry professionals,"said Renee-Marie Stephano, President of the MTA. "From the positive reviews we have received, I would like to thanks all the participants for making this congress an enormous success, and looking forward to their continued support for our annual meeting" she added. We look forward to using the delegate survey results to perfect the event each year.
The theme for this year's MTA Congress, which is the world's largest platform for medical tourismissues, was "Progress in Motion."The extensiveschedule of talks and seminars featured key opinion leaders from the medical tourismsector, governmental bodies, and the insurance industry. There was also ample opportunity for formal and informal networking. One particular addition, the "Buyers of Healthcare VIP Program" enableda more interactive business environment for delegates and sponsors to communicate and discuss partnerships. It brought together up to200 employers, insurance companies, agents, and medical tourism facilitators who are actively involved or interested in the issues surrounding patients travelling across borders for healthcare.
Three important medical tourism books werelaunched during the Congress;two co-authored by industry experts Renee-Marie Stephano and William Cook:Developing an International Patient Center - A Guide to Creating the Best Patient Experience and The Medical Tourism Facilitator - A Best Practices Guide to Healthcare Facilitation for International Patientswere focused on creating good practice, capitalizing on opportunities,and surmounting the various challenges facing medical tourism operators and facilitators. The third book was co-authored by Renee-Marie Stephano and Jonathan Edelheit, which focused on Medical Tourism information for employers, insurance companies, and government bodies.
"These medical tourism books intend to act as a roadmap and guide for those healthcare providers and facilitators that would like to attract and serve international patients. I am certain that eventually these books will help hospitals and facilitators to serve patients better," said Stephano.
The MTA worked relentlessly to secure the presence of government officials from different corners of the world to emphasize the global nature of the congress and their participation in the 3rd Annual Ministerial Summit. The hard work was worthwhile, as there were delegates present from the government bodies of a number of countries that are trying to develop or enhance the medical tourism sector in their region.
"What we were particularly pleased about was the extensive support we received from government officials. This indicates the burgeoning support from all sectors for medical tourism initiatives, especially ministers of health, tourism, and economic development," said Jonathan Edelheit, CEO of the Medical Tourism Association.
One of the largest government-bodycontingents at the congress was from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA),which took a leading step by participating as the Diamond Sponsor. His Excellency Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General of the DHA,explained the reason for his emirate's strong involvement at the event.
"In recent years, Dubai has seen a phenomenal growth in the health sector. Medical tourism is an integral aspect of healthcare, especially in the context of today's globalized world and the DHA is keen to further strengthen and establish Dubai's position on the medical tourism and global healthcare map," he said.
The DHA was able to capitalize on its presence at the congress with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Medical Tourism Association. The MOU agreed that the organizations would work together to strengthen the medical tourism sector in Dubai.
"The DHA is strengthening its policies, regulations, and further developing its healthcare capabilities to strengthen the medical tourism sector," said Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of the Health Policy and Strategy Sector at the DHA. "We consider the private sector to be a key stakeholder and thus both the public and the private health sector in Dubai will be a part of the medical tourism conference which takes place in 2011," she added.
Another notable initiative was the launch of two new congresses:"Expatriate Healthcare, Travel Insurance &Global Health Insurance Conference" and the "Sustainable Healthcare and Hospital Development Conference,"which contributed meaningfully in overall success of the congress.
The 4th Annual Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress is scheduled to take place from October 26-28, 2011 in Chicago, USA.According to organizers, it is anticipated that it will be the largest MTA event yet, with up to 2000 expected attendees, 10,000 pre-scheduled meetings, 100 speakers, and up to400 of healthcare buyers, including insurance companies, employers, and government officials. MTA isalso planning a special focus on global insurance programs, medical tourism cities, and expatriate healthcare. Visit us at www.MedicalTourismCongress.com.