Singapore will host the first International Medical Travel Conference from 12 to 15 December 2006. Organised by Avail Corporation and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the four-day event will bring together key players in the worldwide medical travel industry to discuss trends and developments, as well as to share insights on the issues and challenges faced in this booming industry through a combination of site visits, pre-conference workshops, plenary sessions, presentations, case studies and one-on-one meetings. Medical travel-related companies can also take this opportunity to sign up as members of the International Medical Travel Association.
Speakers from Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the United States will discuss topics covering the entire value chain of medical travel, giving delegates a better understanding of what it takes to internationalise medical services, the national and international issues involved, the roles of medical travel agents, the care of the medical traveler, and the requirements of healthcare services in a globalised world.
Delegates will also be visiting hospitals to gain first-hand insights on how International Patient Liaison Centres meet the medical traveler’s needs, and the international clinical services available at Singapore’s hospitals. In addition, two pre-conference workshops will bring participants through topics like “Seeking Healthcare Abroad - Safety and Care Considerations in Medical Travel” and “Packaging Medical Travel & Marketing Medical Packages”.
“In many ways, medical travel is the extending of current medical-care sharing processes across international borders and the expansion of choices for patients on where they can get their healthcare from. We must not forget that these are patients whom we are looking after, not just the hale and hearty traveler,” said Dr Jason Yap, Director of Healthcare Services, Singapore Tourism Board. “The event will provide a conducive platform for the meeting of thought leaders in international medical travel. As the industry is still young, it will be good for us to examine some of the fundamentals and issues involved.”
Another feature of the conference will be an exhibition for medical travel service providers to create visibility of their products and services. Global health and travel trade professionals will be able to meet and expand their suite of available products and services for the consumers.
Ms Geraldine Chew, General Manager, Avail Corporation says, “This is the first global medical travel event in Asia. The event will not only provide an education platform for those who are already in the business of medical travel or going to embark on one, but healthcare providers, medical travel agencies and other parties will also have the opportunity to establish ties and clinch business deals through our exclusive networking sessions, one-on-one meetings and exhibitions.”
To help grow and develop this new industry, the conference will also witness the soft launch of the International Medical Travel Association. The association aims to bring together the international community of medical travel organisations, creating opportunities for networking, business development and knowledge sharing on best practices among members, and ultimately to protect and promote the rights of international medical travelers. The association, the idea of which has received widespread interest, will take the occasion of the conference with its many participants to hold its first general elections and discuss its role and contribution to the Medical Travel industry.