Asian Association of Medical Tourism formed

 

At a recent meeting in Phuket, Thailand, a new association was formed – the Asian Association of Medical Tourism (AAMT). It has been formed because of the rapidly growing medical tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region. With the emerging trend of more people entering into the medical tourism industry in the region, the founders, SOS medical tourism, felt it important that the Asia-Pacific must have its own medical tourism association.

Asian Medical Tourism Association (AAMT) was formed in mid 2009 as a non-profit trade body. At least for the first year, AAMT’s policy is to offer free membership for those involved in Asia-Pacific medical tourism.

The association shall
* Not show favouritism to any one member over another
* Produce an information flow (online newsletter on a regular basis)
* Network with other organizations with only the best interests of its members in mind.
* Act as a database coordinator with research relevant to the medical tourism industry

Aims and Goals-
*To foster and grow the medical tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region
*To act as an advocate for members to develop a better understanding of medical tourism
* To help develop standards in line with the culture and economic needs of its members
* To lend advice and provide information that may help our members further grow the interest in medical tourism industry
* To provide a forum for our members to openly discuss issues relevant to all sectors of medical tourism industry
* To act as a voice of medical tourism industry throughout all Asia

AAMT will fully endorse and support the upcoming conference, The World Medical Health Tourism Conference to be held in Phuket in September 16-18, 2009. A 30% discount on the conference registration fee will be extended to certified members of the AAMT. All members are encouraged to attend the event, where the first ever meeting of members will take place to decide more detail on the future of the organisation. While rival bodies cover Asia, there is a mood in Asia-Pacific that they concentrate too much on potential American business, when countries see most growth from Asia, Pacific and Middle East regions. 

A report on medical tourism by the Asian office of the Deloitte consulting group has had little attention.’ Medical Tourism-the Asian chapter” compiled at the end of 2008, before the worst effects of the recession were known. While most others were still trotting out figures of up to 40% annual growth for individual Asian countries, the report suggested a more sober 20 percent annually across Asia. It highlights that the main fuel is the growing affluence of the middle class in Asia, allowing patients to travel for better quality medical care than in their own countries. Even before we knew that fewer patients from Europe and the US were travelling to Asia, it suggested that these areas were of much less importance to Asian medical tourism than many would like to admit.

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