Friday, 26 September 2014

Upcoming: Medical Tourism Summit, Melbourne, Australia - 20-21 Nov. 2014

Medical Tourism Summit
Understanding medical tourism and how recent changes will impact Australia

20-21 November 2014 | Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne

The Inaugural Medical Tourism Summit will examine the implications of recent changes within the medical tourism industry and the impact on the Australian market. In the last few years, Australia has begun to see more and more tourists arriving to receive medical treatments, including cancer treatment, heart surgery and IVF.
Meanwhile, NIB Health Funds has announced that they will offer insurance for Australian’s heading overseas for dental and cosmetic surgery, with plans to eventually expand this service to cover other forms of medical tourism.
The conference program will also address:
  • The current state of the industry
  • The risks
  • Australian services and marketing
  • Legislative challenges


Thursday 20th November 2014
The Current State of Medical Tourism
9.00      Medical tourism: Opportunities and threats in a Globalised world
With the availability of efficient modern transportation, it is possible to travel long distances in a short period of time in today's environment. As international tourism developed, so has the investment in infrastructure to cater for the tourism industry, from which medical tourism has had the opportunity to develop alongside on an international scale. This presentation examines the scope and challenges of medical tourism in a globalised world. The globalisation of markets and production, provide the medical tourism industry opportunities similar to those available to other service and manufacturing industries. Accordingly, the supply and demand create opportunities and threats to the industry. In addition, there are the ecological threats posed by the microbial world to manage in this industry. A holistic approach is necessary for the sustainability of this global industry.
Dr Christine Lee, Lecturer at the School of Business and Economics at Federation University
9.40      Why people travel for medical care: what we know and don't know
This presentation summarises the latest social science research on the reasons people seek medical treatment overseas. Patterns of travel differ for various groups and nationalities of people and by treatments sought, and appears to fluctuate. Research remains limited, due to the difficulties in accessing a mobile population, lack of consistent statistical enumeration and because much of the information is considered commercial in confidence. Although emphasis is placed upon individual decision-making, governments and regulations as well as insurers and tie-in contracts are important in shaping the trade in medical services.
Associate Professor Andrea Whittaker, ARC Future Fellow in Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences, Monash University
10.40      CASE STUDY: The Patient Experience
A patient's experience is broader than just the clinical aspects of care - all of the various non-clinical interactions impact their experience. Because patients are often at their most vulnerable while receiving health care services, each interaction takes on added significance. All of these interactions, or touch points, are the basis of 'The Patient Experience'. Each touch point offers the health care provider the opportunity to deliver unique benefits to the patient and to create a platform for differentiation and competitive advantage.
Cassandra Italia, Managing Director, Healthcare Hands and Global Health Travel, Thailand

The Risks

11.20      Medical tourism and bioethics: Imprints left by the global neoliberalisation of health
Internationally, healthcare has been intensively privatised and commercialised over the past 20 years. Medical tourism has emerged in this context as an economic development strategy for many developing nations, and provisional remedy to the rising costs and waiting lists for healthcare in developed nations. Through a focus on research carried out in India, this paper will explore how medical tourism provides a window through which to view some of the broader, exploitative economic practices occurring within and between nations. It will also discuss how national and international regulation can guard against predatory practices and promote social justice, or alternatively, exacerbate current inequalities.
Kristen Dawn Smith, Research Fellow for the Centre for Health and Society at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
1.00      CASE STUDY: Travails of hope and the real cost of stem cell tourism
Buoyed by the promise of regenerative medicine, Australians are pursuing 'stem cell' treatments - both abroad and within Australia - in increasing numbers. Often referred to as 'stem cell tourism', this emerging service industry is a discrete and worrying sub-set of the medical tourism sector. Rather than offering access to established techniques and medical procedures, the 'stem cell' tourist is being sold unproven interventions with little or no evidence to substantiate the claims made - and high fees charged - by providers. Indeed the potential cost extends far beyond financial considerations for the individual, with real implications for the biotechnology community.
Dr Megan Munsie, Head of Education, Ethics, Law and Community Awareness Unit at the University of Melbourne; Policy and Outreach Manager at Stem Cells Australia
1.40      Does medical tourism trivialise the severity of plastic surgery?
Dr Tim Papadopoulos, President of the Australasian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Marketing and public relations

2.40:        The need for a systematic and integrated approach to develop the medical tourism industry
Dr Hemani Thukral, Director of Medical Tourism, Australia Indian Travel & Tourism Council; Managing Director, MyMedicalChoices
3.20      CASE STUDY: The difficulties of trying to develop a medical tourism market for Australia
  • Early attempts to define and establish the sector
  • Early conferences, their findings and resolutions
  • Attitudinal and structural hurdles
  • The "tourism" side of medical tourism
  • The ongoing opportunity
Matthew Hingerty, CEO and Managing Director, Barton Deakin
4.00       Measures to Develop and Promote “Down-Under Medical Tourism Hub”
Medical tourism is one of the fastest growing multi-million dollar global healthcare service industries. It is also  known as healthcare tourism, medical outsourcing, medical refugees, international medical travel, bio-tech pilgrims - where patients seek cost effective, first world quality of heath-care with latest medical technology in another country. It is a complex phenomenon influenced by interactions between medical, economic, social, legal, ethical, and political factors operating either singly or in combination, such as high health and insurance costs, globalisation, digitisation, regulation, long waiting periods, and non-availability of treatment. Medical tourism combines access to invasive, diagnostic, cosmetic and alternative lifestyle healthcare services with exotic locations, medical specialist and caring local staff, and travel itineraries. It incorporates the appeal of achieving positive health outcomes for improving once quality of life, with the adventure of heritage, spiritual, and cultural tourism. Therefore, in order to be competitive medical tourism development, information distribution and promotion should be of great interest to Australian marketers, medical profession, policy makers and medical tourism industry as a whole.
Anita Medhekar, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Central Queensland University
Friday 21st November 2014

8:00      Morning coffee and networking

8:50      Opening remarks from Chair

9:00      Issues associated with transnational reproductive treatment
Australians have been prolific users of assisted reproductive treatment in other countries, predominantly for surrogacy arrangements and donor treatment in Asia and the USA. Strong regulation and quality assurance mechanisms in Australia offer protection for all parties, minimising risks and looking after the interests of children born from assisted reproductive treatment. However, hundreds of Australian travel overseas for treatment. Current health, social and legal issues for all parties involved from transnational reproductive treatment arrangements and considerations for minimising risks will be explored. The interests of children born, the intending parents and surrogates will be explored.
Louise Johnson, CEO of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority

9:40      The physiological effects of flying on the human body and the impacts of this on medical tourism - a discussion of the legal claims available in aviation against the airlines in domestic and international travel
  • A consideration of illnesses and injuries sustained aboard flights
  • A discussion of claims against the airlines
  • A comparison of physical injuries versus mental illness
  • An analysis of the effects of aviation injuries and illnesses on medical tourism
Dr Michael Spisto, Senior Lecturer in the College of Law & Justice, Victoria University

10.20      Morning tea

10:40      Controversies in Obstetric and Reproductive Medical Tourism
  • Accessibility - Examining Australians traveling overseas for IVF due to lower costs as well as access to services prohibited by Australian Law
  • When it all goes wrong - Case examples including evaluation of Baby Gammy's Case
  • Legal Considerations - Is the problem with our law?
  • Other matters - issues that you might not have thought of
Dr Vinay Rane, Medical Vice-President of the Medico-Legal Society of Victoria

11.20      Borderless healthcare
People worldwide are increasingly crossing borders for medical treatment driven by greater mobility, reduced trade barriers, competition and search for quality. Some emerging countries are likely to "outsource" their healthcare provision due to existing supply not being able to keep pace with rising "wealth" driven demand. NIB Options is seeking to take advantage of this thematic. Initial efforts are focusing upon cosmetic and dental treatment in Australian domestic market. This includes an option of being treated by Australian doctors. The ultimate goal will be to expand into medical treatment and sell cosmetic/dental/medical treatment products in foreign markets. Australian inbound opportunities for doctors, dentists and hospitals are enormous.
Mark Fitzgibbon, CEO of NIB Health Funds
What Australia Has To Offer

12.00      Why Australia's IVF programs are drawing international patients to Australia
Lyndon Hale, Medical Director of Melbourne IVF

12.40      Lunch

1.40      CASE STUDY: The difficulties of trying to develop a medical tourism market for Australia
  • Early attempts to define and establish the sector
  • Early conferences, their findings and resolutions
  • Attitudinal and structural hurdles
  • The "tourism" side of medical tourism
  • The ongoing opportunity
Matthew Hingerty, CEO and Managing Director, Barton Deakin

2.20      The impact facilitators make on the medical tourism industry
  • The evolution of facilitators
  • Why providers need facilitators
  • Why patients choose a facilitator
  • Responsible supply chain leverage
  • When things don't go to plan
  • The future for facilitators
Christyna Kruczaj, Director of CosMediTour

3.00      Afternoon tea
Medical Tourism in Australia

3.20      Challenges in providing low cost high quality cosmetic surgery performed by Australian trained fully qualified FRACS plastic surgeons in Australia
Dr Kim Chan, Medical Director of Breast Academy

4.00      The overseas market and what Australia can learn

Mr Daniel Donner, Medical Director of SkyGen

4.20        The future of medical tourism    
  • Where will Australia fit in the grand scheme
  • Specialisation 
  • Licensing
  • Packaging 
Christian Fletcher-Walker, Co-Founder and CEO of Wotmed

  5.20     Closing remarks from Chair

5.30      End of conference