Johns Hopkins Exec Appointed to U.S. Travel Board
Medical travel has representation in the Obama administration’s new travel and tourism strategy, with the appointment of Steven Thompson, chief executive officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine International, to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
Thompson is one of 32 members of the board, which advises the Commerce Department on policies and issues affecting travel and tourism.
“I enthusiastically accepted the appointment, due to the important and growing demand for U.S. education and health services coming from the international community,” Thompson told Travel Market Report.
“The adoption of travel policies that encourage and support growth in international travel are vital to these business sectors within our economy.”
Thompson is not the first representative from the medical travel sector to serve on the board. Dr. David Hayes, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, served on a previous board.
“The Department of Commerce recognizes the important role that both medical travel and educational travel and tourism play in strengthening our economy,” said Mara Lee, deputy director of communications in the department’s International Trade Administration.
Commenting on Thompson’s appointment to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, she said that it “signals the Department’s continued recognition of the value that medical and educational travel and tourism contributes to U.S. exports.”
Alliance Aims for One-Stop Med Travel Shop
Providing a “one-stop shop for international healthcare consumers in search of safe, affordable medical care” is the objective of a new alliance between medical travel guide Patients Beyond Borders and online global physician directory Medeguide.
The two recently formed a strategic alliance to provide robust search tools for global healthcare options and to provide hospitals and health-travel third parties with branding and marketing tools, according to their announcement.
These tools include private label websites, according to Judy Orchard, communications manager for Patients Beyond Borders.
Patients Beyond Borders and Medeguide are exchanging information, so that consumers can search worldwide hospitals and physicians by specialty, procedure, region and cost.
“Access to trusted, vetted information is key to millions of patients worldwide who are seeking quality and cost options, whether across town or across oceans,” said Josef Woodman, CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, based in Chapel Hill, N.C. “Our alliance is a big step toward connecting leading international hospitals and doctors to healthcare consumers in this currently underserved global marketplace.”
Medeguide, based in Bangkok, was founded by Ruben Toralformer group marketing director for Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok and past president of the International Medical Travel Association.
Global Health Voyager Launches Med Travel App
A medical tourism smartphone app is being developed by Global Health Voyager, Inc., a publicly traded, full-service, international medical tourism company.
The app is being designed to allow potential patients to select a procedure that they may need in the near future and then compare the average cost of the procedure domestically versus several overseas destinations at accredited hospitals.
Users will have the option to learn more about specific hospitals and other related accommodations. They can also be assigned a case manager to take them through the process of reviewing options and ultimately booking the procedure along with travel and accommodations, all through Global Health Voyager.
Rosewood to Open Hotel in Abu Dhabi Med City
Rosewood Hotels and Resorts plans to open its new high-rise property in Abu Dhabi, next to the Cleveland Clinic, at the end of this year. Both the Ohio-based medical center and the hotel group are newcomers to the United Arab Emirates, which is positioning itself as the medical travel hub for the Middle East.
The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open this year, is the Clinic’s first location outside North America. Other branches are in Palm Beach, Fla.; Las Vegas, and Toronto.