The country’s top medical and wellness facilities and resort destinations take center stage as the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it is organizing the 2nd International Medical Conference (IMTC 2007). The event will be held on November 19-23 at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila in Makati City.
According to Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, “I am calling on local stakeholders in the medical tourism industry, such as hospitals, wellness resorts, and healthcare financing services, tour operators and transportation companies to participate in this event and take advantage of the opportunity to meet and network with their counterparts around the world.”
The four-day event aims to develop medical value travel and to be the catalyst for industry alliances among medical establishments, health benefits companies, insurance travel partners, government agencies and other related enterprises. IMTC 2007 is expected to draw in more than 250 trade participants from over 23 countries.
“Being part of IMTC 2007 opens boundless opportunities for the participants. It is the global platform for everyone involved in medical tourism to address important issues and to strengthen their trade ties,” explained Elizabeth Nelle, director of the DOT Office of Product Research and Development.
Nelle added that the global medical travel industry is currently worth $40 billion with over 780 million patients are seeking faster, more affordable and world class medical care outside their home country. Insurers are looking for alternatives to contain the escalating costs of healthcare, while providers are developing programs specifically for medical travelers.
IMTC 2007’s keynote address will be delivered by Jonathan Edelheit, president of the Medical Tourism Association, USA. He is set to speak on the next wave of medical travel. Edelheit is also the vice president of the Optimed Health/ United Group Programs, an American organization that specializes in creating and administering tailor-fit company health benefit programs.
Workshops will be programmed to assist participants understand key topics in medical tourism, such as designing the scope of medical travel services, internal and external resources to ensure service delivery, developing holistic packages and providing integrated services that cover transportation, interpretation, logistics, hospitality care and post care options.
Site visits and guided demonstrations will also be scheduled to provide first-hand experience of some of the best practices existing in the country. DOT will be arranging tours to The Medical City, St. Lukes’s Medical Center, World City Medical Center and Asian Hospital and Medical Center.
The DOT will further arrange venues for medical contact exchanges, cross-country panels, business clinics, as well as sponsorships and exhibitions agreements. Forum sessions will cover case studies and best practices in India, Singapore and Thailand, as well as industry prospects in the Gulf Area and updates on the Philippine scenario.
Organizers will provide delegates with post conference trips to some of the country’s top destinations.
A special highlight of the said event is the International Medical Travel Excellence Awards, which will recognize the outstanding medical travel providers.
Durano revealed that the DOT is pushing to make the country one of the top destinations for medical tourism.
“We have some of the best hospitals and stand alone specialty clinics in Southeast Asia. The facilities and services are of top-notch quality and patients and customers can be sure to get the best value for their hard-earned money. Moreover, we have some of the best beaches and spa resorts. Our country is the place where medical travelers and their companions can be cared for with the warm, nurturing and friendly nature of the Filipino,” Durano added.