IMTA in a single year has attracted many leading global healthcare providers


In only a year, the International Medical Travel Association (IMTA) has attracted as members many of the leading global providers of healthcare for international patients.

The two most recent hospital companies to join are Bumrungrad International of Bangkok, Thailand and Parkway Group Healthcare, a leading Asia-wide group of 15 hospitals.

Curtis Schroeder, CEO of Bumrungrad, recently attended the Executive Committee meeting of the IMTA, and in a follow-up conversation IMTJ spoke exclusively with Kenneth Mayes, senior manager international marketing.

“The industry faces a number of challenges,” said Mayes, “and we feel it is important to support the efforts of associations such as the International Medical Travel Association that are trying to represent the industry on important issues.”

Mayes characterises the challenges as principally to reassure patients: “Put simply, what is going to give patients the confidence to travel thousands of miles to seek healthcare? I see there being three essential points. Firstly, we need to address what measures of quality we can introduce in a standardised way so they can see some consistency. To date, the third-party validation is the JCI accreditation and that is good, and we were the first in Asia to get that, but there are probably other measures of quality that could be used to increase the confidence of international medical travellers going to a hospital or to a country they’ve never visited before.

“A second thing people want to know is the value of where they are going, so they have some idea of pricing. There’s a lot of different ways to quote costs, not only of the medical services but of the destination itself, things like food and lodging and transportation, and even the costs of the medical services are expressed in different ways – here it includes the doctors fees, where in others it may be more unbundled, so there may be a doctor’s portion and the hospital’s portion.

“If patients are trying to get information so they can choose among destinations, we will help them compare these costs and won’t be surprised when they get there.

“The third area we see as a challenge and one which associations such as the IMTA can help is in developing new market segments. The buzz right now is developing global healthcare options for US insurers and we are working with big healthcare insurers in the US to try and present global healthcare options in an understandable way so that everyone can understand what these options are about and the advantages – there are things an industry association can do to champion these innovative new products.”

Speaking on behalf of Parkway Hospitals, CEO Dan Snyder said: “At ParkwayHealth, we continue to make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care. We believe in only ‘first class’ healthcare and focus our efforts to ensure the continuity of care for all our medical-travel beneficiaries. We are pleased to be part of IMTA, a global association that supports our vision of providing value-based integrated healthcare to all our patients. We believe this relationship will contribute to the development of the global healthcare scene.”

Together with member Wockhardt Group of Hospitals (which joined last year) which has 12 hospitals in India, and International Hospital Corporation of Dallas, operating hospitals in Latin America, the IMTA is well on its way to becoming the authoritative voice in medical travel.

According to Dr Steven Tucker, IMTA president: “Our organisational vitality and credibility are centred in the knowledge of our members, their operational excellence and their economic stability.”

In the association’s recent annual meeting, members expressed the desire to promote and protect the safety and well-being of international patients through:

  •     developing industry networks
  •     leading and participating in educational programmes and special events
  •     engaging in research, debate and dialogue
  •     distributing information to industry and consumer groups
  •     sharing best practices
  •     establishing standards

List of present members

  •     BestMed Journeys
  •     Bumrungrad International
  •     Clemenceau Medical Center
  •     Companion Global Healthcare
  •     Fusion Marketing
  •     Healthy Travel Media/Patients Beyond Borders
  •     InterContinental Hotels Group
  •     InterMed Global
  •     International Hospital Corporation
  •     International SOS
  •     John T Kelly MD and Associates
  •     KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital
  •     Magenta Global Pte Ltd
  •     MedicaView International
  •     Mednet Asia
  •     National Cancer Centre Singapore
  •     National Heart Centre
  •     Panacea Publishing/International Medical Travel Journal
  •     Parkway Group Healthcare Pte Ltd
  •     Raffles Hospital
  •     Sahara Global
  •     Singapore Health Services
  •     Singapore Tourism Board
  •     SingaporeMedicine
  •     Sunway Medical Centre
  •     Taiwan Non-government Hospitals & Clinics Association
  •     The West Medical Group International
  •     Transmarx, LLC/Healthcare Globalization Summit
  •     Total Health Trust Ltd
  •     Validus International Pty Ltd
  •     Wockhardt Hospitals Limited
  •     Dr Michael D Horowitz


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