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South Africa makes bid for medical tourism market

South Africa makes bid for medical tourism market

The Medical Tourism Association of South Africa (MTASA) has launched a new web portal designed to showcase the country’s high quality facilities for health, wellness and medical care.

“As a collective, we are here to ensure that medical tourists experience excellent service and high quality care throughout their stay in South Africa,” explained MTASA member Lorraine Melvill, of Johannesburg-based Surgeon & Safari.

“The value chain includes numerous steps and players, products and services and the website gives potential visitors a convenient information portal of services and facilities to get them started.”

Over the past ten years Johannesburg has played host to thousands of visitors seeking health, wellness and medical services – often combined with short holidays either prior to or post their treatments and procedures.

One company in particular, who has played a significant role is medical evacuation specialists ER 24,  providing a critical service foreign patient in Africa who have often do not have access to vital healthcare and opt to utilise medical services in South Africa. 

“We are excited about our membership with the association and offer our expertise in medical evaluation, foreign patient facilitation and aero-medical evacuation to assist patients across Africa that have little or no access to quality healthcare,” said Marc Fourie, marketing manager of ER24.

Such is the demand for these services that South Africa has emerged as a medical tourism destination of choice amongst African travellers more especially and the medical tourism sector, as a niche market with significant growth potential for the country, has been earmarked for development by national government. 

The intention of launching the portal is to bring about initiatives that advocate and showcase South Africa’s world class medical facilities, services and personnel and thus position the country as a premier destination of choice for health / wellness and medical care, enabling its members to excel in this regional and globally competitive market, with a clear code of conduct in place.

“As a vital travel and medical services hub on the African continent, Johannesburg hosts a large proportion of medical tourists in South Africa,” said Phelisa Mangcu, acting chief executive of Joburg Tourism Company.

Medical Tourism Association of South Africa

The Medical Tourism Association of South Africa (MTASA) is a Section 21 non-profit trade association, which provides a common platform for diverse industry players with a collective interest in the medical tourism value chain. 

The launching of the MTASA web portal offers the industry an opportunity to commit to common values - integrity, transparency, accountability, direct communication, sound fiscal management and good corporate governance - that are conducive to the benefits of industry and consumers.