Tucson, Arizona targets medical tourism

 

Tucson in Arizona has long been a tourism destination. Now it seeks to become a medical tourism destination for better off Mexicans.

Tucson’s major hospitals are collaborating with local government in a new promotion to attract Mexicans and Americans from other states for treatment ranging from organ transplants to specialized cancer care.

The public-private medical tourism collaboration was launched by Visit Tucson, the region’s tourism bureau.

There is a website in Spanish and English plus a concierge services to help tourists find the health care they need. Visit Tucson will coordinate the website and hire concierges to connect patients with medical care in Tucson and Pima County. Part of the effort will include collecting data on the kind of care that medical tourists get.

The new Tucson Health Association seeks to promote Tucson as a health care and wellness destination to international visitors. Members include Banner Health, Carondelet Health Network, Northwest Medical Centre, Tucson Medical Centre, Pima County, Tucson and Visit Tucson.

Tucson Medical Centre the city’s largest hospital is targeting elective care such as cardiac, orthopaedic (including total knee replacement) and neurological services.

Tucson has Southern Arizona’s only organ transplant site at Banner- University Medical Centre, advanced paediatric oncology care at Banner-Diamond Children’s and specialists who treat skin cancer.

The target market is Mexican families with enough disposable income to pay for medical care in the USA. A few Mexican insurance policies will pay for certain procedures in the USA but most medical tourists will be self-paying.

The new association is working with hospitals and doctors in Mexico to get them to send patients to Tucson for treatment not available at home, and then provide after care in Mexico.

Americans mostly go to in Mexico for dental, cosmetic, bariatric and orthopaedic surgery. Mexicans going to the USA seek surgery and cancer care.

Specific initiatives for the local medical tourism effort will include developing comprehensive data related to medical and wellness institutions in the region, creating a database of doctors and their specialties through the Pima County Medical Society and developing a marketing plan in partnership with health and medical institutions.

The Tucson medical tourism initiative is initially for two years and seeks to build on existing strengths, such as our treatment and research facilities, physicians, medical school, hospitals and integrative medicine providers -to establish Tucson as a health care and wellness destination.

The next target market will be Canada, and other countries later on.

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