Tools of Trade: Agreement Calls for Medical Tourism Association® to Provide Government of Puerto Rico with Certified Education and Training

Partnership with Department of Economic Development to Brand Island as Top Health Travel Destination Announced at World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress.

Washington, DC, September 27, 2014 --( The Government of Puerto Rico took an important step toward becoming a top medical tourism destination in the Caribbean and Latin America when the Department of Economic Development and Commerce signed an agreement for the Medical Tourism Association® to provide certified education and training for related service sector providers on the island commonwealth.

The agreement with the Medical Tourism Association® was announced during the World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress, Sept. 20-24, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

“Our focus is to certify a select group of providers – among them healthcare participants such as hospitals and laboratories as well as those participating in other aspects of services tied to medical tourism – to turn medical tourism into a motor for our economic development, the exportation of services and job creation,” said Alberto Bacó, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce. “We are a world-class tourist destination and we are committed to presenting an equally attractive offer for medical tourism that will benefit the Caribbean, the United States and Latin America.”

According to the DDEC Secretary, Puerto Rico has a series of advantages that position the island as an ideal destination for medical tourism. Among them, the most advanced formal structure of healthcare integrated services in the Caribbean and Latin America; the use of coordinated standards and regulations that apply in the United States; and a great number of medical professionals who graduated from universities in the United States and have been accredited by their corresponding medical boards.

“We offer a real alternative in this market to offer the unique guarantee of a first-rate experience for patients and their families including competitive prices at 40-60 percent lower costs than those offered in the continental United States,” said Bacó.

Renée-Marie Stephano, President of Medical Tourism Association®, said the agreement is in step with MTA certification programs already offered to health travel professionals across the globe.

“We are honored that the Government of Puerto Rico has selected the Medical Tourism Association® as a strategic partner to brand the island as a medical tourism destination,” she said. “Service sectors in Puerto Rico have exhibited the dedication and characteristics needed to become successful players in the medical tourism industry in the very near future.”

A delegation of more than 20 representatives from the government and healthcare and tourism sectors in Puerto Rico participated in meetings with their international peers during the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress including Ingrid Rivera; Executive Director of the Tourism Company; Francisco Chévere, Director of the Commerce and Export Company, and Francisco Bonet, Director of the recently established Corporation for Medical Tourism of Puerto Rico, which is part of the DDEC and responsible for developing infrastructure required to turn Puerto Rico into an important player in medical tourism.

About the Corporation for Medical Tourism of Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rico Corporation for Medical Tourism (CMT) was created by law in 2014 as an entity affiliated to the Tourism Company of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with the objective of regulating the operation and logistics of services related to this industry and promoting Puerto Rico as a destination for medical tourism.

About Medical Tourism Association®
The Medical Tourism Association® is the first membership-based international nonprofit trade organization for the medical tourism and healthcare industry made up of top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliates committed to promoting the highest level of quality healthcare to patients in a global environment.
Medical Tourism Association
Joseph Harkins
1.561.791.2000, ext. 803