On November 2, 2010, Johns Hopkins Medicine signed an agreement with Academic Medical Centre Sdn Bhd to develop a medical school in Malaysia. It will be the first private, four year medical school in Malaysia, and the first to use the western teaching model. Hopkins will be advising and partnering with Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine and the Perdana University Hospital in the joint venture.
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.
Social Media enables people to interact and share, which makes it inherently useful for healthcare providers and patients and this post gives two great examples. The University of Maryland Medical Center and Mayo Clinic use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to share information with their communities. More important, however, each hospital allows members of its community to share with each other.
Physician and hospital innovation plays a critical role in reducing procedures’ impact on the body thereby reducing recovery time. As physicians substitute minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for “traditional” surgeries, they also increase the medical tourism option for patients.
Innovation with medical technologies and procedures plays a critical role in expanding treatment options, which can include medical tourism. For example, The International Orthopedic Group in Doral, Florida, USA uses minimally invasive surgery and regional block anesthesia to reduce the post-operative recovery time. In the former, minimal incisions are made, which reduces tissue damage. This makes the procedure more applicable to medical tourism patients. Similarly, regional block anesthesia makes the procedure easier on the patient and less of an ordeal. For the clinic, this dramatically increases the market it can address.
If “medical tourism” is defined as traveling for healthcare, that does not necessarily mean overseas. This article highlights U.S. “domestic” medical tourism case studies from Lowe’s, BridgeHealth Medical, The Health Services Coalition, and Alpha Coal West. “Domestic” medical tourism is also increasing in Europe where patients travel to other European providers.
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.