Dubai Healthcare City announces second medical tourism facilitator during International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference

March 5, 2014 11:21 am

The role of a medical tourism facilitator is evident as Dubai works to secure its position as a medical tourism hub. Facilitators connect overseas patients with healthcare providers.

On the opening day of the International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC) on March 5, 2014, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) announced the opening of its second medical tourism facilitator Meditour.

The first medical tourism facilitator Salamatak Healthcare Management opened in Q4 of 2013 at DHCC. Meditour will begin operations in the next few weeks.

The DHCC, a health and wellness destination that brings together a wealth of services in healthcare, medical education and research, has a strategic medical tourism focus.

Marwan Abedin, Chief Executive Officer of DHCC, referred to the medical tourism focus as “building blocks”.

Abedin said, “For medical tourism to thrive, it needs the necessary building blocks. From specialties to infrastructure and government support, a medical tourist needs assurance. The success of a medical tourism destination depends on these factors as well as factors of safety, accreditation, and increasingly, medical tourism facilitators. The facilitators connect medical tourists to healthcare professionals, covering requirements like travel, accommodation and transportation.”

He added, to ensure medical tourists have access to quality care, DHCC works closely with the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), UAE health authorities and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

DHCC also shares best practice in medical tourism through collaborations.

This week it hosted a workshop in partnership with Health Beyond Borders on the topic ‘Quality in Medical Tourism’ in association with German certification body Temos International that certifies the quality of medical treatment overseas.

On the role of medical tourism facilitators, Ibrahim Abu-Gharbieh, Managing Director of Salamatak Healthcare Management, said, “Medical tourism facilitators act as the focal point of the process by linking overseas patients to medical providers and looking into their travel, transportation and tourism needs (tours, wellness, translators, etc). We also manage the paper work like visas, financial settlements and patient records.”

Kibreab Amelga, Marketing Manager of DHCC’s new medical tourism facilitator Medtour, said, “The role of a [medical tourism] facilitator cannot be emphasized enough. We are the crucial link between overseas patients and Dubai. We hope to connect patients from sub-Saharan Africa to some of the best global healthcare providers in Dubai Healthcare City.”

To explain the importance of certification, Laila Al Jassmi, Founder and CEO of Health Beyond Borders, and speaker at IMTEC, said, “Despite the growth of the medical tourism industry, few standards exist to ensure quality. The quality concept should certify the international patient’s entire care cycle from the patient’s door and back. We should also push for policies that govern the privacy of patient information and recommend certification of medical tourism facilitators.”

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