The Potential of Medical Tourism

In Panama companies dedicated to the activity are complaining about the absence of a state policy or strategy to help promote the country as a destination for medical tourism at the international level.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Although Panama has all the necessary characteristics to make it a relevant market for medical tourism, a specific policy to promote the activity led by the Tourism Authority could encourage much more development of the activity in the country. "...'The only disadvantage Panama has as a destination for medical tourism is that this sector has not been recognized by the state as a tourist product or a real feature of its organizational infrastructure,' said Luis Santamaría, general director of Panasalud S.A., to Prensa.com."

See also: "The potential of medical tourism in Nicaragua"

"... An index developed by Fetscherin & Stephano in 2016 placed Panama in 20th place among the top 30 medical tourism destinations globally. Ahead of it in the region were Costa Rica (6), Brazil (16), Jamaica (17) and Colombia (19). Behind them were the Dominican Republic (22) and Mexico (28). "

Despite the absence of a government policy, the outlook for the sector is optimistic. "... Panasalud, a Panamanian company   which promotes the local health sector globally, projects 7.5% growth in the industry's income through a combination of importing foreign cases and retention of local cases that are not being served elsewhere."

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More on this topic

Panama: Modernized Tourism Plan Urged

February 2015

In order to achieve maximum growth potential and position themselves as a major destination in the region, it is imperative to update the Master Plan for Tourism, developed in 2007.

In the view of tourism enterprises, some of the factors that need to be strengthened are related to the creation of a plan to boost tourism products, work with indigenous regions to boost tourism in these areas, update sector priorities and above all to create the concept of clusters, "... conglomerates which form a more integrated tourist circuit."

Costa Rica: Medical Tourism and Hot Springs

August 2013

A plan is underway to boost medical hydrology in the north of the country, taking advantage of the tourist infrastructure and natural conditions in the area.

Entrepreneurs from San Carlos, in the northern part of the country, plan to form partnerships "with the medical community and businesses in order to build medical centers and train professionals in the health industry, said Lorena Herrera, businesswoman and team president", reported Elfinancierocr.com.

Medical Tourism in El Salvador Given New Push

April 2013

After a first attempt to consolidate a core of companies engaged in providing medical services to foreigners, efforts are now being made to create an association for promoting medical tourism.

The country is looking to position itself within the medical tourism industry globally, growing at an accelerated rate of 30% annually.

Increase in Medical Tourism to Nicaragua

November 2011

In the last two years medical tourism has increased by 100% according to data from the country's tourism institute.

Relative to the total number of visitors to the country the number of medical tourists is not significant, but the head of the institute (Intur in Spanish), Mario Salinas, says that the change demonstrates that the sector has the potential to keep growing.

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