Medical travel associations and clusters aren’t measuring their efforts, says new report


A new report on the current challenges faced by medical travel associations and clusters around the globe has just been published.

The report summarises findings from a survey jointly funded and run by international healthcare experts, LaingBuisson and health and wellbeing management consultants, RLA, which targeted 250 medical travel associations and clusters around the world.  The survey is the first of its kind in the medical travel sector.

The results show a big difference between what associations and clusters say is important in their work (co-ordinating medical tourism interests with governments), and what they actually measure to assess their success (inbound patient numbers and treatment volumes).

While both are important, time spent lobbying government does not often lead to more international patients.  The survey findings suggest that medical tourism associations and clusters are not effectively measuring the success (or not) of their work.

The report also reveals that many medical tourism associations and clusters operate on an annual budget of less than €50,000 (US$58,000), a tiny investment for the complexity of tasks expected of these organisations by their members.

László Puczkó, Director of Industry Intelligence at RLA and author of the report, says:

"The survey identified a number of major challenges faced by medical travel associations and clusters in 2018.  Not only is there a discrepancy between the work they prioritise and what they measure; there is also scope for improvement in how they are funded, in developing the breadth of their membership and in their relationship with other Destination Management Organisations in their region or country."

Commenting on the survey results, LaingBuisson International Executive Chairman, Keith Pollard says:

"We’ve seen a significant growth of new associations and clusters entering the international medical tourism market in the last few years. Their success and survival rates however are random at best.  Our report makes three recommendations for a better way ahead for the global medical travel industry, including better industry co-operation, clearer performance measures and further sector education and capacity building."

The full report is available to download from or


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