Colombia: New Emerging Medical Travel Destination

On October 26th 2010, Medellin hosted the Second International Symposium on Health-Services Export. FlyClinic participated at this prestigious event and would like to share some of the facts and main trends discussed by the experts in this field.

Medellin, Colombia, November 09, 2010 --( Medical Tourism - A known trend

Travelling to get a cheaper medical treatment is not a new phenomenon. People from all over the world, especially those in developed countries with relatively high costs of medical care, are increasingly looking for better and more affordable healthcare treatments beyond their own countries.

This trend has now been observed for quite some years and has even increased recently opening up interesting new business opportunities. Not only Asian countries, currently leading this trend towards medical tourism, benefit from the increased demand. Increasingly, US-Americans and Canadians are discovering the excellent medical and healthcare services offered in Latin American countries like Colombia, Brazil and Costa Rica - right at their doorstep, for a fraction of the cost of procedures in the US or Canada.

Promoting Colombian Services

The Colombian government has launched a new strategy to promote the country’s already high-quality / low-cost health services and make them compatible with international patients’ expectations. According to Santiago Ospina, Director of the Service Sector at PROEXPORT - the institution in charge of promoting Colombian non-traditional exports, international tourism and foreign investment in Colombia - “fam-trips” and international trade fairs are the main tools to promote Colombia as a top medical travel destination.

Given the current state of medical tourism in the country, some questions were posed repeatedly during the Symposium: Why Colombia? Why Medellín?

The answer is simple. Colombia’s medical system is one of the best in Latin-America and famous abroad. Many clinics and hospitals are accredited by U.S. organizations such as the Joint Commission International; physicians enjoy an excellent education in Colombia and often specialize in Medical Centers in the US.

The World Health Report 2010 ranked Colombia 22nd in “overall health system performance” (USA: 37th). Costs of procedures in Colombia are between 30% - 90% lower than in the USA. Another strategic advantage is that Colombia is right around the corner. By plane, Colombia is only three hours away from Miami and less than 6 hours from New York. There are numerous direct flights from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and New York to the main cities, Bogotá and Medellín.

Medellín is known for its high quality healthcare services, especially for cosmetic treatments, dentistry and eye surgery. According to the Medical Tourism Association, Medellín’s Healthcare Cluster has set exceptionally high requirements for applicants seeking membership, improving quality standards in the city even further.

A recent ranking of Latin America’s 35 best medical institutions, edited by América Economía Magazine, Colombia placed eight qualified institutions, five of them in Medellín. However, there is an informational gap that makes patients’ access to this market difficult. Many patients, not able to afford medical procedures in the US are plainly not aware of this healthcare gem. FlyClinic - an innovative newcomer in the medical tourism market - is bridging this gap and offers international patients a personalized, innovative solutions and all necessary information to cut down their healthcare costs.

FlyClinic’s philosophy is based on transparency, honesty, and trust. Its approach is to give patients complete freedom of choice when selecting their own physician and hospital. All affiliated physicians and clinics are yearly audited by FlyClinic, assuring medical, legal, financial and quality compliance of all associates participating.
This makes the FlyClinic’s network unique and assures highest quality standards for international patients’ medical treatments abroad. FlyClinic’s physicians only work with the most renowned clinics, providing the highest technological, service and hygiene standards at or above US level. All personal data is handled trustfully according to US standards and privacy laws (HIPAA).

The following articles might give you further information on the topics discussed above:
Colombia: your health travel destination
Top Colombia's medical Travel Destinations

Tatiana Lozano
0057 4 311 1861