It’s a new world for medical tourism in 2010.
Whether you manage a hospital, clinic or wellness spa or center; whether you are a doctor, dentist or other medical practitioner, a medical travel agent or broker, a hotel operator or travel agent; whether you want to provide a treatment or offer a patient handling service, you must look beyond yesterday’s business model.
Providers can no longer simply announce the opening of an international department, issue a mediocre e-newsletter, and declare their desire to serve international traveling patients.
Medical travel agencies can’t get away with putting up a website, signing commission agreements with hospitals, maybe visiting a couple of them, and declaring themselves open for business.
Competition and specialization
Medical tourism today has become a highly competitive, segmented and specialized industry. To create a new medical tourism business – in Shanghai, Budapest or Houston – or to develop a regional or national medical destination that will grow and succeed is more challenging than ever.
My medical tourism company, Cosmetic Surgery Travel, has evolved and changed – what we did eight years ago when we first started in medical tourism is significantly different from what we are doing today. What I advise newcomers to the industry is very different now compared with five years ago.
Now, when I talk with InterMed Global clients about today’s issues in the industry, I ask them to consider the changed climate as they develop or review their business strategy for a medical travel or health tourism business.
Here are 9 questions I have found help newcomers and established medical tourism businesses and providers alike to renew and reshape their business plans.