MTA Releases 1st Medical Tourism Documentary

The first documentary on medical tourism, Angels Overseas was premiered to a global audience of well known personalities from the medical tourism sector at the recently concluded 2nd Annual World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress in Los Angeles October 26th-28th 2009.

The Medical Tourism Association who was the organizer of the congress show-cased the pioneering effort as part of its endeavor to initiate several educative measures to acquaint the average medical traveler with important aspects of the seeking medical assistance from foreign lands. The documentary provides insight into the high quality of healthcare that Americans and traveling patients worldwide can receive when they travel to a foreign country.

“This portrayal will bring to the notice of global audiences the high quality of healthcare available across several countries and change the image of medical tourism. MTA has diligently worked on this project for over a year with the sole goal of making available a patient’s actual experience,” said Prem Jagyasi, chief strategy officer, Medical Tourism Association.

Free for public viewing on the official MTA website, it is expected to be watched by patients, employers, insurance companies and medical tourism facilitators. MTA is committed to its mission of elevating the levels of public awareness about medical tourism and works such as these are a demonstration of this. We will continue to work on many more documentaries and other educative tools.

“This is just one of the many initiatives the MTA has rolled out to educate the public across the world about the potential of medical tourism,” said Vivian Ho, strategic development officer, Medical Tourism Association.

The one hour film traces the experience of an American patient Bob who traveled to Costa Rica to undergo a double knee placement in an alien environment. He not only saves $80,000 but gets an excellent medical attention. His journey becomes even more pertinent as he represents a sizeable breed of first timers who until now had never left the shores of their homeland as they do not have a comprehensive health insurance. Deloitte estimates that in 2012, 1.6 million Americans will leave the US for medical care overseas.

Angels Overseas - Costa Rica Edition is available for viewing on
To get more information on the film please contact Jessica Johnson

About MTA

The Medical Tourism Association (Medical Travel Association), is the first international non-profit association made up of the top international hospitals, healthcare providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies, and other affiliated companies and members with the common goal of promoting the highest level of quality of healthcare to patients in a global environment. Our Association promotes the interests of its healthcare provider and medical tourism facilitators members. The Medical Tourism Association has three tenets: Transparency, Communication and Education.

Ministerial Roundtable Discusses Future of Medical Tourism- December 2009
At a recently concluded first roundtable of Health and Tourism ministerial delegates came together to outline the future of medical tourism and the steps required to give it the necessary thrust. Organized by the Medical Tourism Association,, the high-powered congregation of senior ministers and policy makers discussed the opportunities and requests for assistance in medical tourism from international organizations World Health Organization (WHO - PAHO) and Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

The focus of the meeting was on increasing the quality of healthcare worldwide, patient safety, policy relations and possible collaborative roles of global agencies in fostering medical tourism development worldwide. This inaugural edition was convened during the 2nd annual World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress, October 27th, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

The Deputy Minister of Health of South Africa, Dr. Molefi Sefularo says, "The Congress was indeed most productive and enjoyable as it presented a diverse view from an international forum of industry leaders and policy makers. The presence of WHO (PAHO) provided a good sound perspective on the regulatory scenario. To have all these persons present and to learn from them is equal to many years of study, consultation and international fact finding missions. It truly was valuable experience."

"I wish to congratulate the MTA for an enlightening conference. It offered us a great opportunity to learn from the development graphs of other destinations. It also provided us a platform to network with principals in this field and to gain knowledge about best practices which could be applied in our own individual progress," said Vernice Walkine, Director-General for the Island of the Bahamas. "We look forward to working closely with the MTA to establish global benchmarks and create enabling environment not just for our individual nations but for the entire sector."

"Countries engaged in medical tourism are at various stages of development and there is a need to initiate healthy dialogue among the industry leaders from around the world. The Ministers Roundtable attempted to fulfill this gap and was a definite step forward in the right direction. It facilitated exchange of ideas for issues ranging from capacity building, infrastructure development, benchmarking, sustainable development to patient safety, transparency and ethics," said Renee-Marie Stephano, Esquire, President of the Medical Tourism Association.

"This session further proved that medical tourism is a critical aspect of globalizing and commoditizing of the healthcare industry. Powerful discussions as initiated by Paulo Teixeira of PAHO/WHO and David Morgan of OECD definitely provide the necessary insights for this niche industry's growth," says Vivian Ho of the MTA and ministerial roundtable rapporteur, and she underlined the importance of the role being essayed by frontline agencies such as WHO, PAHO and OECD.

According to Cynthia Carrion, Undersecretary of Sports & Wellness Tourism, Department of Tourism in the Philippines, the roundtable provided an unmatched occasion to exchange and learn from individual lessons while allowing room to establish appropriate linkages. "We as a nation aspire to be a world class destination hub for medical travel, health & wellness by 2015. And to that end, both the opportunities and proceedings of this congress and the ministers' roundtable in particular facilitate not just our individual development but that of the industry as a whole. We take back a bouquet of powerful and implementable ideas. "

Undersecretary of Health Nasser Al Badoor of the United Arab Emirates endorsed the importance of World Medical Tourism & Global Health Congress as well as the ministerial roundtable. "UAE is a nation seeking to nurture and further develop the nascent national medical tourism sector. It was very important for us to learn current trends of medical tourism. It is clear that any exercise in promoting a nation as a preferred health destination raises the bar on its medical system which in turn affects positively the economic well being of nation."

"We are looking at a lot of collaboration. Our recent health reform was intended to strengthen the health systems in Dubai and such linkages will assist us going forward. We are here to assess Dubai as medical tourism destination. We will implement the leanings gained at such highly informative interactions," added Laila Al Jasmi, CEO of the Clinical Support Services Sector for Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, Unites Arab Emirates.

The second edition of the ministers' roundtable on medical tourism will be held at the 3rd World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress in Los Angeles, September 22-24th, 2010.