Medical tourism biz opens in Toronto

by Paul Imbesi ,  Indus Business Journal | 2008-05-01

TORONTO – Star, a medical tourism company that arranges the hospitals, doctors, airlines and hotels for people looking for surgeries overseas, recently opened an office in Toronto.

Since 1996, Star operated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under a different name. According to vice president Kumar Jagadeesan, the company was restructured and given the name Star over the past six months when operations were set up in Toronto. He added that Star’s marketing office is located in Toronto, but the company’s call centers and operations are in Chennai, India.

Jagadeesan, who is originally from Chennai, said there is a great opportunity for a company providing medical tourism services in North America. Between the long waits with the Canadian health-care system and Americans who cannot afford proper health care, Jagadeesan said there is a bigger market for Star in North America for medical tourism than in the Middle East.

According to Jagadeesan, Star’s business model works like this: when potential customers call Star to inquire about setting up an overseas surgery, the call is directed to the company’s call centers in Chennai, where one of the company’s medical professionals does an initial screening composed of sensitive questions. The medical professional hands it over to a doctor on Star’s staff, who goes through initial screenings, study cases and calls back potential customers.

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