One of the most difficult problems faced by public health agencies worldwide is maintaining protection for pharma companies, so they continue to develop new medicines while finding legal and practical ways to make drugs available to developing countries. At last week’s joint WHO/WIPO/WTO technical symposium on access to medicines, patent information and freedom to operate in Geneva, Dr Margaret Chan appealed to governments, patent attorneys, and pharmacutical companies to help populate global drugs databases to enable developing countries to get the medicines they need to combat the rise in costly diseases that plague their citizens.
Since October, 1,400 Haitians have died from the cholera outbreak that is taxing the country’s already fragile infrastructure. The 2010 Haiti earthquake killed 250,000 and destroyed large portions of Haiti’s healthcare system, hospitals, government offices and other supporting organizations. Crisis Mappers are doing their part to help direct resources to the people and areas of most urgent need. The HealthMap-Haiti picture to the right shows the outbreak, which is most acute at Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital and largest city.
CHEF Chicago hosted a luncheon on medical tourism in Singapore in Chicago, October 15, 2010. Clara Yap, Manager, Healthcare Services at Singapore Tourism Board, led the presentation with an overview of Singapore as a medical tourism destination, followed by Samuel Tan, Group Assistant Vice President of ParkwayHealth, who outlined the capabilities of one of the most advanced medical groups in Southeast Asia. Rudy Rupak, CEO of PlanetHospital, added his insights as well. This was CHEF Chicago’s second event dedicated to medical tourism this year.
According to the Globalization of Healthcare’s Brazil Report, Brazil is slower than many Asian countries in developing a coordinated effort to grow its medical tourism industry, but that is changing. Last week, in Sao Paulo, Brazil hosted its first medical tourism conference to raise awareness and develop its industry. The fifth most populous country in the world, it has a large and growing healthcare system.
Brazil is already known for its advanced cosmetic procedures. Sea, Sun, and Scalpels states:
What separates its hospitals from their counterparts in Bangkok or Bangalore or Singapore is their world-famous reputation, albeit for plastic surgery. Surgeons such as Dr. Ivo Pitanguy–the “Michaelangelo of the scalpel” who invented many of the techniques–are justifiably famous overseas.
Brazilian government and medical leaders want to add to its repertoire namely in orthopedics, opthamology, cardiology, neurology. They think about its leadership in South America as well as the proximity of United States and Canadian patients.