At the recent World Health Tourism Congress in Cyprus, the launch of the International Medical Travel Association (IMTA) was announced.
The IMTA seeks to represent the interests of medical travellers and the medical travel industry including healthcare providers and medical travel facilitators. The association currently has 26 registered members from across the world. Dr Steven Tucker, Medical Director of the West Clinic Excellence Cancer Centre in Singapor, is the President of the IMTA.
How successful the organisation will be in developing internationally accepted standards and codes of conduct for medical tourism.....who knows?
The medical tourism market is very fragmented consisting of many minor players such as doctors, dentists and individual clinics and various medical tourism "facilitators"and hospital groups. As yet, no one company has attempted to take a really significant share of the market. It's likely that those who take the lead in this fast emerging market will be the standard setters which others will follow.