medical tourism

Our services

Medical Tourism Certification

Certification SealMTQUA offers the only cross-services medical tourism certification for hospitals, clinics, agencies, specialty treatment centers, resorts, etc., including training and workshops to support and enhance certification standards and protocols.

MTQUA Medical travel and health tourism curriculum is featured as core learning modules at selected universities and colleges around the world.

MTQUA provides the medical tourism industry’s only enterprise-wide Medical Tourism Certification program for hospitals, clinics, specialty treatment centers, agencies, recovery resorts and all other providers of related health and support services.

Using evidence-based standards, MTQUA evaluates a provider’s processes, practices and protocols in areas of communication, operations, multicultural customs, marketing, internet use, privacy, customer service, leadership and other aspects of care management that affect the good results a patient or medical traveler gets from seeking treatment away from home.

Health care and service providers that meet or exceed our standards receive medical tourism certification.

Learn more about medical travel certification.

World’s Best Hospitals for Medical Tourists™

world best hospitalsMTQUA annually publishes a list of best hospitals for medical travelers, based on quality medical treatment, patient care and medical travel best practice.

Read about the Top 10 World’s Best Hospitals for Medical Tourists™

Medical Travel Advisory

Medical Travel AdvisoryMTQUA monitors quality and safety conditions for medical tourists and issues warnings and watch lists as needed to alert medical tourists to potentially higher risks in certain situations.

Learn more about current medical travel warnings and watch lists.

Best Practices in Medical Tourism

best-practice-logoBest practices demonstrate how to produce results better than those achieved by other means, and are used as a benchmark against which to judge one’s own practices and to improve those practices.

Download Best Practices in Medical Tourism publications.

Inside Medical Travel Newsletter

Inside Medical Travel blogRead the MTQUA blog and subscribe to the MTQUA newsletter for useful tools, information and insights to help you grow your medical tourism business.

Read the MTQUA blog.

Medical Traveler Patient Registry

PATIENT REGISTRY FINAL 5Medical tourists may use the MTQUA network to monitor their medical travel plans and patient journey from start to finish.

Learn more about the Medical Traveler Patient Registry.

Our mission and vision
Our team
Medical Traveler’s Bill of Rights
Medical Traveler’s Responsibilities

Our team

Who we are

about-julieJulie W. Munro
President and Founder

Julie Munro is president and founder of the Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA,, which she founded in 2009 in order to build an awareness in the public, the media and the health care sector of problems in medical tourism that she and her staff directly observed and experienced that often prevent patients from getting the best outcomes. Since the 1980s she herself has been an international patient, as have been her family members. She has worked at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and other Canadian hospitals in patient care.

She is one of the pioneers of medical tourism and has been an industry leader since founding her landmark medical tourism company, Cosmetic Surgery Travel, in 2003. She has been a medical travel care manager and facilitator for thousands of clients and has a keen, practical understanding of health care operations and opportunities around the globe.

Ms. Munro sits on the Advisory Board of Medical Tourism Development Program of Gulf Medical University, United Arab Emirates. She leads the MTQUA medical tourism curriculum development program for universities and educational institutes.

She publishes and writes for MTQUA’s Inside Medical Travel newsletter, and contributes to several health care and medical tourism print and online publications including the U.S. Healthcare Finance News, and the U.K. International Travel Insurance Journal (ITIJ) Medical Travel Review. She is author of Care And Management of Traveling International Patients, the most downloaded and influential paper in medical tourism.

She is a popular speaker, frequently addressing private health care groups as well as medical tourism and health care conferences in Asia, Europe and the U.S. on current issues in medical tourism.

about-carolineCaroline Bodanis
Services Director

Caroline Bodanis manages all client relationships and projects, and communications. She is an educator turned marketing professional with extensive online business experience and international direct marketing experience, as well as teaching, training and conference development.

She has been responsible for creating, developing and managing the websites of several health care providers in the U.S. and Asia, and manages the MTQUA website, our newsletter Inside Medical Travel and other publications. She is an expert in email marketing and has conducted direct mail marketing and email marketing campaigns for more than 25 years.

about-sandraSandra J. Millar
Director of Standards

Sandra J. Millar was instrumental in developing the MTQUA Medical Tourism Certification program and standards. She is an international health care specialist with more than 30 years experience in health care practice, international patient services, marketing, and tourism program development.

Mrs. Millar has held several senior health care management positions. She was COO of Aruna Health Care, a licensed hospital for addiction treatment in Phuket, Thailand. She founded the international patient department at Samitivej Hospital, one of Thailand’s top ranked hospitals. For eight years at the hospital, she was engaged in strategic planning, international marketing, policy and operational protocols, patient consultations, paralegal and insurance resolution, end-of-life family counseling and patient safety issues, and participated in JCI accreditation. She headed the international division at Phyathai II and Phyathai I hospitals in Bangkok.

In Canada, Mrs. Millar was Senior Disciplinary Judge and board member of the Ontario College of Nurses and ad hoc advisor to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons for seven years, making judgments on cases that included issues of patient harm, professional discipline and medical ethics. She has been senior advisor to national, provincial and municipal governments, and a partner in private consortia for the development of health care investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Viet Nam and Thailand.

about-janetJanet M. Geddes
Finance and Governance Senior Advisor

Janet Geddes is a senior consultant with extensive international experience in health care, banking, insurance, hotel/hospitality, and real estate in the U.K., Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Ms. Geddes’ work includes restructuring debt on health care facilities in Thailand, cosmetic surgery clinics and spa centers in Asia and Europe. She is an Accredited Mediator and has participated in dispute resolution in insurance and banking. She is a Certified Company Director and sits on the board of a private industrial company in India.

She has substantial international experience in the hotel/hospitality sector including at board level and covering all stages from construction through to opening and operations. She has extensive experience working with the leading international accounting firms and as director of an accounting and audit practice in Thailand.

about-donnaDr. Donna Robinson
Clinical Advisor

“Dr. Donna” owns and operates MedConsult Clinic in Bangkok. Since she founded it in 2004, it has become the most popular medical clinic in Thailand serving expatriates and travelers.

She has been a practicing physician in Thailand for more than 25 years working as a specialist in occupational and public health as well as general practitioner and family medicine specialist. She is licensed in both the U.K. and Thailand – one of a small handful of foreign doctors in Thailand licensed to practice in the country by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health. She has admission privileges at Bumrungrad International Hospital, considered by many to be the world’s most popular hospital for medical tourists.

She may be contacted through the clinic’s website.

Our mission and vision
Our services
Medical Traveler’s Bill of Rights
Medical Traveler’s Responsibilities

About us

What we are

MTQUA logo Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA, pronounced “em-tee-kwah”) is an independent international organization that develops and promotes the highest standards of excellence in delivering treatment and care to medical travelers and health tourists.

It was announced in Budapest in 2009 at the 2nd European Congress on Health Tourism, in response to requests from hospital administrators and medical travel facilitators for a better understanding of special care protocols and management for medical travelers that would provide a safer environment, better outcomes and a higher rate of satisfaction.

Today, through its products and services, MTQUA works with and supports providers such as hospitals, clinics, special treatment centers, alternative treatment centers, and practicing physicians and support services such as care managers, medical tourism agencies, medical travel facilitators, referring agents, travel agents, recovery resorts, hotels, insurance companies, corporations, and others.

MTQUA informs and connects consumers who are seeking health and wellness services to health care and support service providers.

MTQUA adheres to guidelines for ethical practices and guards against conflicts of interest that may limit the realization of its mission.

Our Mission

Because medical travelers seek and obtain treatment and care away from their homes, they have unique and special needs that are different from those of ordinary patients.

Our mission is to develop and promote the highest standards of excellence in delivering treatment and care to medical travelers and health tourists, to help providers of health care, alternative health, and related support services meet those standards, and to ensure a safer, more ethical and responsible environment for all.

Our Vision

Our vision is for all medical travelers to be able to receive the best available treatment, care, and outcome anywhere in the world according to their medical and financial needs.

The best available treatment, care and outcome together create the best patient experience.

Our Core Values

MTQUA believes all medical travelers should be honored and respected for their diversity of social, cultural, religious, demographic, and geographic backgrounds.

Committed to the highest ethical, moral and professional standards, we will always strive to do what is right for medical travelers as international patients and provide industry leadership to this end.

Our team
Our services
Medical Traveler’s Bill of Rights
Medical Traveler’s Responsibilities

Medical Travel Advisory

Medical Travel AdvisoryFrom time to time, when reliable sources in the media and health care industry report on events that present unreasonable and unwarranted harm to medical travelers and health tourists, Medical Travel Quality Alliance issues warnings to medical tourists.

MTQUA changes the advisory when a situation improves. 

MTQUA calls on the governments and medical establishments of named countries to review not only specific incidents but also the underlying reasons for these warnings in order to make medical and wellness travel safer and better for all medical tourists. Download the full report.

Medical Travel Warning: Dominican Republic

MTQUA warns travelers against having any kind of medical, surgical or dental treatment in the Dominican Republic.

Medical Travel AdvisoryThe Dominican Republic has an excessively large number of medical tourist deaths. This is a dangerous situation for medical travelers.

In the first six months of 2015, four medical tourists have died after having surgery in Dominican Republic clinics. In 2014, a New York resident died during surgery at a clinic in the country. Earlier reports list the deaths of three medical tourists as a result of surgery in 1998 and one in 2004 in the Dominican Republic.

On the internet, many harmed patients describe their poor outcomes and the dangerous situations they experienced in Dominican Republic clinics.

Authorities have taken some but not enough action. The government has now shut down one clinic, that of Dr. Edgar Contreras who has been the subject of three other probes by Dominican investigators over the years.

MTQUA has been observing events in the Dominican Republic for more than a year, after American and European health authorities issued reports of serious harm to medical tourists.  Download the full report.

Medical Travel Watch: India

MTQUA advises medical tourists to be extremely cautious in seeking treatment in India through medical tourism facilitators or agents.

Medical Travel AdvisoryIndia’s tourism minister has called the medical tourism industry in India “unorganized.” Industry experts tend to agree and some even describe it as chaotic.

As the medical tourism industry grows and matures in India, its weaknesses and problems are becoming clearer. At recent government-sponsored meetings in New Delhi, government and hospital officials identified lack of trust, poor quality and limited expertise in care management of medical tourists as major problems.

India’s status as a preferred medical destination is increasingly threatened as more medical tourists arrive in the country and experience the lack of organized care and services both inside most hospitals and outside during the pre-surgery and aftercare periods. Governments in the Middle East and Central Asia that send sponsored medical travelers to India are finding that their medical outcomes are less that optimal.  Download the full report.

Medical Travel Watch: Mexico

MTQUA cautions medical tourists when seeking treatment in Mexican “border” towns.

Medical Travel AdvisoryThe number of deaths and near deaths of medical tourists receiving medical treatment in Mexico needs to ring alarm bells throughout the medical tourism industry.

American media have reported on the deaths of several American medical tourists at one particular clinic, that of Dr. Mario Almanza in Tijuana, a border town 125 miles south of Los Angeles. Complications and infections from surgery are widespread, and have been reported widely in American media. Scripps Media reporters across the US have reported deaths and complications in medical travelers having weight loss surgery at the clinic.  Download the full report.

Medical Travel Watch: South Korea

MTQUA alerts medical tourists to seek treatment only in known top hospitals in South Korea where staff speak your language.

Medical Travel AdvisorySouth Korea’s government has announced a crackdown on illegal clinics and agents after a Chinese woman fell into a coma in January 2015 and was pronounced brain dead on the operating table while undergoing extensive plastic surgery in a Seoul clinic.

Other reports detail poor treatment, poor conditions, ghost doctors, price gouging, counterfeit drugs and injectables, and false advertising and other problems.

An online support group in China comprising hundreds of victims of alleged botched cosmetic procedures in South Korea has begun a campaign to highlight the problems, including disputes over malpractice.  Download the full report.

Medical Travel Watch: Thailand

MTQUA urges medical tourists to be very careful when seeking a medical or surgical procedure in any clinic in Thailand.

Medical Travel AdvisoryA recent headline in The Nation, a leading English-language Bangkok newspaper read, Another Plastic Surgery Patient Dies.

The death of 24-year-old British woman Joy Williams in October 2014 caused barely a ripple in Bangkok. She died on the operating table during a second surgery to correct problems in her first surgery at the same clinic. Reportedly, the doctor was trying to perform the surgery and administer general anesthesia at the same time.  Download the full report.

Download Medical Travel Advisory Report

Conditions for medical tourists in these countries present unreasonable, unwarranted risk and possible life-altering harm including death, poor quality results and disregard for medical traveler safety.

Medical Travel Advisory

Warning: Dominican Republic

Watch: India

Watch: Mexico

Watch: South Korea

Watch: Thailand

This 10-page report, the first ever Medical Travel Advisory issued by MTQUA, identifies an excessive number of deaths and life-threatening infections of medical tourists in Dominican Republic. The advisory also cautions medical tourists about specific safety risks in Thailand, Mexico, India and South Korea.

To download this Medical Travel Advisory, please enter your details below to get a download link for immediate access.