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Jamaica Ranked 2nd Most Attractive for Medical Tourism

Jamaica Ranked 2nd Most Attractive for Medical Tourism

Posted by Shanelle Weir on September 26, 2014

Jamaica ranked second in the category of attractiveness in the 2014 Medical Tourism Index (MTI) released this week.

However, the island's overall rank in the study stood at 14th or midway among 30 nations led by Canada.

The findings, while not exhaustive, places the island among some of the top nations that woo overseas patients.

"The most attractive countries in terms of 'destination attractiveness Index' are Costa Rica, Jamaica, Italy, Brazil and France," stated the sub-index findings of the report published through the US based non-profit, International Healthcare Research Centre.

The MTI was developed over the last few years in collaboration with professor Dr Marc Fetscherin and Renee-Marie Stephano, the President of the Medical Tourism Association.

The index consists of three pillars including country environment, medical tourism industry, facility and services.

Country environment seeks to grade countries based on economy, safety, image and culture.

Medical tourism industry grades countries on destination attractiveness and medical tourism costs; facility and services are graded on quality care, reputation, internationalisation and accreditation and patients' experience.

"This instrument makes a significant contribution so far as providing unbiased information about medical tourism across the globe," stated Stephano on the findings in a release, as mailed Caribbean Business Report queries were not responded to up to print time.

"This information provides not only what patients need to know when planning a medical journey overseas, but serves as a valuable tool for governments, employers and insurance companies, hospitals and doctors, facilitators and related travel and hospitality industries throughout the world."

Jamaica tourism arrivals by air and sea totalled 2.4 million between January and August, latest Jamaica Tourist Board data indicates.

This reflected a 2.6 per cent rise in stopover arrivals at 1.44 million and a 10 per cent rise in cruise arrivals at some 938,800 compared with year earlier levels.

Jamaica Promotions (JAMPRO) the government's marketing arm last year reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with a US developer to build a 'five-star' medical tourism facility costing over US$170 million.

It forms part of efforts to tap into the global medical tourism industry valued at over US$40 billion.

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