UAE presently ranked 16th as a preferred destination for Medical Tourism, has the potential to be in top five says expert. Ms. Renee Marie-Stephano President of Medical Tourism Association said there may be new demand trends for treatments and destinations in medical travel. However there are untapped niche target market opportunities within medical tourism she says.
The first International medical Tourism conference was organized by Thumbay Hospital (part of Thumbay Group and GMC hospital) in Dubai on 21 Nov 2014. The new hospital is due to open in December 2014 / January 2015.
The theme of the conference was Initiatives and Updates on International Medical Tourism in UAE. The event was attended by over 150 delegates including medical tourism experts, doctors, facilitators and insurance agencies.
Founder President of Thumbay Group Mr. Thumbay Moideen was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He awarded Special Awards of Honor and Recognition to Ms. Renee Marie Stephano, President Medical Tourism Association USA, Dr. Uma Nambiar, Advisor to Ministry of Health Djibouti, Mr. Ajmal Habeeb, Managing Director Unity Hospitals India, Dr. Ibrahim Abu Gharbieh, MD Salamatek Healthcare Management UAE and Dr. Benazir Ameer Ali, Director International Medical and Health Tourism Department Thumbay Hospital for their valuable contributions to Medical Tourism. Mr. Akbar Moideen Thumbay Director Operations Healthcare Division and Dr. Manvir Singh Walia Administrative Director Healthcare Division of Thumbay Group were present on the occasion.
Citing exhaustively from the findings of a survey conducted by MTA, Ms. Renee said, Nearly 80% of demand for medical travel is driven by cost savings, Cosmetic surgery leads all other treatments, representing 38% of demand, About 92% of total spending on medical travel per patient is less than $30,000, Medical tourists spend between $7,475 and $15,833 per medical travel trip, For 6 million patients, medical travel may contribute $45 – $95 billion to global GDP, Latin America and Asia are the two leading regions for medical travel, Mexico and India respectively have the highest demand for medical tourism and almost 76% of patients with a future interest in medical travel are American.
She recommended that collaboration with stakeholders to conduct annual global market research and to institute policies to expand various markets within medical tourism industry. Collaborate to develop healthcare hubs as a part of regional economic integration she concluded.
Medical tourism facilitators’ act as the focal point of the process by linking overseas patients to medical providers and looking into their travel, transportation and tourism needs said Mr. Ibrahim Abu Gharbieh. Dr. Uma Nambiar spoke about the changing dynamics medical tourism and how do we adapt,
According to Dr. Benazir Ameer Ali Medical Tourism is now perceived as one of the fastest growing segment in healthcare. The recent trend is for patients to travel from developed countries to third world countries for medical treatment because of cost consideration, waiting time, privacy/confidentiality, though the traditional pattern still continues. Technology will lead the way in future Medical Tourism. Along with that we can expect extremely personalized services, niche specialist centers, wider network of partnerships, increased number of accreditations, certifications and industry specific associations said Dr. Benazir.
About: Thumbay Hospital – The Preferred Medical Tourism Destination in UAE
Thumbay Hospitals (due to open in December 2014 / January 2015) has taken measures to improve all its services and procedures with the introduction of the International Medical Tourism unit of its Hospitals. Thumbay Hospitals provide excellent Healthcare services, world class recovery measures as well as recreational therapy and Spa services.
The International Medical Tourism department of Thumbay Hospitals aims to cater to an extensive number of patients and be known as the preferred hospital for medical tourism in UAE.
Currently, Thumbay Hospitals receive inquiries from a wide range of clientele including hospitals, medical practitioners, partnered agents, and various inquiry forwarding websites from across the globe.
Thumbay Hospitals is aligning itself with the Dubai’s Vision 2020 for Medical Tourism. Along with Dubai, the other Emirates of UAE are gearing up to attract more medical tourists in the near future. This would mean increasing patient requirements, higher demand for facilities and larger calls for personalization.
Looking at the current and future trends in Medical Tourism, Thumbay hospital has developed enhanced facilities, maintaining highest standards of quality and offering packages with a wide range of personalization options.