by Renee-Marie Stephano ,  Medical Tourism Magazine | 2009-06-01

We are happy to introduce a new column in this issue of the Medical Tourism Magazine about Sustainability. As we make great strides into new programs for international healthcare development, we need to take a look at whether these programs will last. What effects will they have in the public sector and what economic effects will result over the long term in developing nations? This month’s feature is about "Going Green."

Sometimes we get caught up in the marketing and the business models and we lose sight of what medical tourism is really about ~ The Patient. So in this issue our feature is on just that. From Customer Service on the hospital side and on the facilitator side, to the greater underlying issues of Trust as a whole, medical tourism offers significant opportunities for us to step back and take a look at our service offerings to patients. Only then are we ready to create marketable and successful programs.And after doing so, how do we judge our successes?

Gallup, one of the oldest and most respected research organizations in the United States recently released a survey on medical tourism on May 18th, called “Americans Consider Crossing Borders for Medical Care.” The Gallup Poll on medical tourism was performed April 16-20, 2009 and surveyed 5,050 Americans. The survey found that a large portion of Americans (29% ) would consider engaging in medical tourism and traveling internationally for medical care such as hip or knee replacement, plastic surgery, heart bypass surgery, cancer diagnosis and treatment, or alternative medical care. The survey reinforces the fact that the United States is one the largest emerging opportunities for medical tourism and that Americans are more open to traveling for treatment internationally than any other patient.

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