Keith Pollard at the IHW Conference in Algarve, Portugal, has made the comparison and it seems very apt. In the medical tourism sector, the rush to find “the gold in them there hills” hasn’t resulted in very many sustainable streams of referrals to destination providers from source locations. How many countries, cities and / or hospitals have “struck gold”? We know the examples of what has worked – they stand out in contrast to the many highly promoted and failed models. During the California gold rush, who profited? Some few individuals “struck gold.” The people who were selling shovels, Levis and the saloons did well. Who in the medical tourism sector has profited? The vendors supplying the sector – the conference organizers. This is characteristics of an early market where opportunists and entrepreneurs rush to capitalize. We need less hyperbole and more facts, sober consideration and transparency.
How will this market develop? What needs to be in place to assure growth and minimize risks? We will be considering these and other questions at IMTJ Summit in Madrid – join us for a serious conversation.