San Serriffe made an impact on the medical travel world, but never existed

 

The report detailed a $2 billion project to develop a "medical city" on the Indian Ocean island of San Serriffe. The publication date of the report (April 1st) was of course a clue, as was the name of the spokesperson from the medical tourism web publisher, Institution (Loof Lirpa….. April Fool).

Those who have been around the publishing world a while will be familiar with the island of San Serriffe. Invented by the Guardian Newspaper in 1977, the mythical island is the most successful and most famous April Fool in publishing. San Serriffe has received repeated coverage every April 1st on various aspects of the island’s economy, geography and politics. (See Wikipedia article on San Serriffe).  IMTJ decided it was time that San Serriffe should enter the world of medical tourism

But… on a serious note, what can we learn about the industry from the San Serriffe Special Report?

Don’t believe what you read about medical tourism...

The medical tourism industry is plagued by distorted statistics, mistruths, and pure invention. The medical tourism gold rush has attracted consultants, pundits, investors and a raft of healthcare facilities and medical tourism facilitators who believe what they read on the web and hear at conferences.

Take care…. As we can see with the San Serriffe myth, all that glisters may not be gold. Here are some of the statistics on the release of the IMTJ Special Report on San Serriffe.

  •     At midnight on April 1st, IMTJ issued a press release on the Special Report.
  •     The press release, despite being pure invention, made it through the vetting process for PRWeb. (PR.com blocked the release.)
  •     The release was delivered to 5,871 media outlets.
  •     It generated 12,610 News Feed Impressions.
  •     It was republished on 3,820 web pages!

So, a completely fictitious article about medical tourism has now achieved the stamp of web credibility. We look forward to the first mention of San Serriffe Medical City at a medical tourism conference!

There’s plenty of people after your money…

Did it fool anyone? Yes! Quite a few people, in fact. It goes to show that however ridiculous a concept may be, in the medical tourism world there will always be some people around who are prepared to consider it …. and are interested in making some money out of it.

Thanks to those who contributed to the spirit of our April Fool. We will not name them for fear of embarrassing them.. But here’s a flavour of those who are interested in helping San Serriffe to make its millions from medical tourism:

  •     A Minnesota consultant who is happy to relocate to San Serriffe.
  •     An online publisher, keen to explore a relationship.
  •     A Chinese investment company.
  •     A stem cell company seeking new locations for facilities.
  •     An international healthcare consultant with experience in Dubai and Saudi Arabia
  •     Another healthcare consultant with experience in medical tourism in the Gulf Region.
  •     Another healthcare consultant with experience in medical tourism in the Far East.
  •     Another healthcare consultant with experience in medical tourism in Germany.
  •     A medical tourism facilitator keen to promote the destination
  •     Several conference organisers keen to attract sponsorship from San Serriffe.
  •     And a few more!

You have been warned...

Keep an eye out for what you read in the press and the media on April 1st.

On April 1st 2012, did you really believe that:

  •     Google has launched a “Really Advanced Search” option that lets you search pages with “embarrassing grammatical faux pas”.
  •     “Skype for String” lets people make audio and video calls by handing them a cup connected by a string to yours
  •     A Canadian airline is introducing child-free cabins.
  •     Kodak is releasing a Live Kitten Printer

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