Which should we focus on in medical tourism


How we perceive the impact of new things

observation made by Roy Amara, an American Futurologist was brought to mind by a recent article in the Economist (25 February – 2 March, 2012). When it comes to relatively new things, we tend to overestimate their impact in the short run – and underestimate their impact in the long run”. The article talks about the internet and online retailing but the mantra seems to apply just as well to the economic impact of health tourism (which, of course, includes medical tourism.)

Ignoring the short-term …to focus on the long-term

At healthCare cybernetics (hCc), we are known for ignoring the triumphalism and buzz associated with the introduction of “great new things” in order to focus on assessing their impact in the long run. We do not dismiss new things “out of hand” but prefer to consider and assess them more soberly.

But there is a fine line between vision and delusion …and the occasional need for a reality check

I have listened to my fair share of stories related to great ideas and concepts which will have an important economic impact (and maybe I am even responsible for relating some myself).

After subjecting “stories” to a reality check – and seeing how they eventually “pan out”, I came to agree with those who claim that there is a fine line between vision and delusion.

The sustainability of ideas and concepts

As with the “internet bubble”, many new ideas and concepts have value and prospects but things get spoiled by unrealistic expectations in the short run. Furthermore, new ideas and concepts often need to be to “modified and adjusted”, based on the initial response, to make them broadly acceptable to the market.

In the long run and in the end, good ideas and concepts will survive, succeed and prove sustainable.

Why I place my faith in the long run

I am known as a champion of health tourism and for having great faith in it. But why? Some of the reasons are listed below.

We are already seeing a “shake out” in the industry. The irrelevant are making room for the relevant. Serious and sober professionals are replacing “starry-eyed” and greedy opportunists (or “hucksters”). Long-term investment and commitment is replacing the “quick buck mentality”.

Investment includes time, money and effort to cultivate the market. And very importantly, to convert health tourism from a “have to” - to a “want to” activity.

We hope that the concept and practice of integration which hCc is promoting, will lead to the expansion of the industry to address a much broader market. New entrants will have an advantage because they are not burdened by “legacy baggage” and hopefully, will not repeat the mistakes of predecessors.

Rather than seeing imitation as the road to success, new entrants and exiting players will embrace innovation (which in my view, is the only way to gain a competitive advantage). They will learn to segment and stratify the market, and will see health tourism more in terms of regionality, as opposed to globality.

At the end of the day, sector “deep insiders” will still be around to provide leadership and reap the benefits.

Investing in concepts and practices...which will make the sector sustainable

As a think and do tank, hCc has been introducing concepts and innovations aimed at expanding the industry, broadening the market and making the sector sustainable. These are listed on our Health Tourism Innovation site. Admittedly, some of these concepts and innovations may need to wait until the industry and market can digest and embrace them. But such is the price one pays for forward thinking and doing.


Amateur to professional

Articles, 01 August, 2018

Medical tourism clusters are not in the right league

“Fragmentistan Syndrome”

Articles, 01 March, 2017

The “Fragmentistan Syndrome” in medical tourism

Industry Representative Bodies

Articles, 31 January, 2017

The raison d'être of Health Tourism Industry Representative Bodies

Health tourism improvements

Articles, 21 September, 2016

Making health tourism “truly” sustainable and resilient – for all

The rise of domestic medical tourism

Articles, 10 December, 2015

Why more and more medical tourism business is becoming “domestic”

Insurance funded treatment abroad

Articles, 15 October, 2015

The future of “Health-Plan-Funded” treatment abroad

A fortune in pyramids

Articles, 12 June, 2015

Is there a fortune at the bottom of the medical tourism pyramid?

Saying NO

Articles, 24 November, 2014

Why some countries are turning their back on medical tourism.

"Buyers" at events

Articles, 07 August, 2014

Hosted "Buyers" fail to live up to expectations

Who leads "Health Tourism Destinations"?

Articles, 22 May, 2014

Are there leaders, or does he who pays, speaks?

The Russian Patient

Articles, 22 April, 2014

Russia is the new focus for medical tourist companies.

Why "Google Health" failed

Articles, 09 January, 2014

Examining the electronic health record "Death Trap"

Greece as a destination

Articles, 29 November, 2013

Times are changing as Greece tries to become a major destination.

Luxury and Medicine

Articles, 07 October, 2013

If medical tourism is all about cost, why so many luxury destinations?

Conventional bankruptcy

Articles, 27 August, 2013

The old models have failed, but what replaces them?

State and Government

Articles, 17 June, 2013

The role of governments in developing health tourism

Haves and wants

Articles, 12 April, 2013

How have to travel is being replaced by wanting to travel

Changing motivations

Articles, 01 February, 2013

Is medical tourism experiencing a shift from 'have to' to 'want to'

Discovering medical tourism

Articles, 22 October, 2012

Despite the recession, there's still growth in medical tourism

Tourism "free zones"

Articles, 01 June, 2012

What are the goals and benefits?

International medical children

Articles, 18 May, 2012

How the EU directive may stimulate an increase in child care

On ice?

Articles, 23 April, 2012

Dr Constantine Constantinides talks on the EU directive on Cross Border Healthcare

Survivor bias

Articles, 23 January, 2012

Past success is no predictor of future eminence

Healthcare standards

Articles, 21 October, 2011

Do standards need to have a regional flavour?

Is it enough?

Articles, 28 September, 2011

Can medical tourism on its own be sustainable?

Understanding the market

Articles, 03 June, 2011

Why would you want to get into the medical tourism market?

Exploring the health tourism market

Articles, 28 January, 2011

Constantine Constantinides provides advice as to understanding the health tourism market

Government incentives for health tourism

Articles, 29 November, 2010

Constantine Constantinides speaks on the role of government in medical travel


Articles, 26 August, 2010

Constantine Constantinides talks on why medical tourism businesses fail

Should accreditation be sold

Articles, 29 July, 2010

Constantine Constantinides talks on how should handle Destination Marketing

Blowing their own trumpet

Articles, 26 February, 2010

Is there any noise from the market, or is it all in the industry?

Brightest Africa

Articles, 20 January, 2010

Is Africa always a exporter, or can it be a healthcare destination?

Cross-border opposition

Articles, 10 December, 2009

Spain and other nations blocked the draft proposal, we ask the experts why

The resentment factor

Articles, 15 October, 2009

Health tourism is often resented by countries, but can it have positive effects?

Free and open debate

Articles, 22 September, 2009

Constantine Constantinides voices concern over the expression of opinions in the industry

Medical tourism in denial

Articles, 30 July, 2009

Supply is exceeding demand in medical tourism, but the industry is in denial



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