Asian Countries Unite for Medical Tourism in IMWell Summit


Philippines to host landmark international event that will forge cooperation for health, wellness and retirement.

With the Philippines spearheading the initiative for Asia to be a regional hub for health, wellness and retirement, representatives of different Asian countries including India, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore are set to gather in the International Summit on Medical Travel, Wellness and Retirement (IMWell Summit) on October 12-15, 2010 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel to discuss the most important issues in global healthcare.

A convergence of healthcare, hospitality and travel industry leaders, the IMWell Summit is envisioned to be a forum for different countries to hold multilateral dialogues and discuss how they can cooperate for the region to further develop medical and wellness tourism.

“Without question, medical travel has significantly transformed the face of global healthcare. The pool of patients around the world seeking medical treatment abroad has grown, with increasing cost efficiency and adoption of advanced medical technology overseas. This presents a huge opportunity for us and it is only fitting that the Philippines is hosting the IMWell Summit, as we have already proven our country to be an emerging powerhouse as a health and wellness destination,” said Undersecretary Cynthia Carrion, who heads the DOT’s Office for Sports and Wellness.

According to the DoT, the number of overseas patients and clients visiting the Philippines has rapidly increased from 60,000 foreign patients in 2007 to about 100,000 foreign patients in 2008 and gross revenues estimated to be at US$350mn since the program was launched in 2006. In light of this booming phenomenon, the Department of Tourism expects the Philippines to corner a total of US$3bn of the global medical tourism industry by 2015, with 200,000 foreign patients arriving annually.

“The IMWell Summit demonstrates that the Philippines is at the forefront of this ‘sunrise’ industry, which has been a key driver in our economic growth. As a pioneering initiative in the whole region, it also establishes our pro-active stance in cooperating with our neighboring countries and making them partners in medical tourism,” said Joyce Alumno, Conference Director.

The four-day event features a full agenda that includes plenary sessions on Industry Perspectives, Opportunities and Risks; Regional Presentation of Best Practices; Global Opportunities in the Retirement Industry; Marketing and Branding for Global Markets; Quality Management and the Continuity of Care; and the Future of Medical Tourism and Healthcare Travel Industry.

The IMWell Summit also includes Executive Workshops about Balanced Score Card in Healthcare Organization and Effective Leadership Styles in Healthcare Organization. Four break-out conference tracks will be

presented: Quality in Healthcare, Marketing, Investment and Capacity Building, and Retirement, giving an in-depth look at each specific aspect of medical and wellness tourism.

“We have ensured that the program of the IMWell Summit is comprehensive and at the same, attuned to the needs and gaps in information of this growing field. By gathering the region’s leading policy makers, decision makers and solution providers, we aim to redefine, redesign and refine healthcare delivery around the world,” stated Dr. Sanjiv Malik, a renowned international guru in medical tourism, who sits as the Conference Honorary Chairman.

The Advisory Board and Speakers of the IMWell Summit include prominent leaders in their fields of expertise, including Dr. David Vequist of the Center for Medical Tourism Research (USA), Dato’ Jacob Thomas of the Association of Private Hospitals in Malaysia, Dr. Nipit Piravej of Bangkok Chain Hospital (Thailand), Dr. Ares Leung of Union Hospital (Hong Kong), Dr. Sam Bernal of Cedar Sinai and The Medical City (USA and Philippines), Samie Lim of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Dr. Girdhar J.

Gyani of the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (India), Dr. Jeff Staples of Parkwayhealth (China), Tony Gibson of the Australian Human Resource Institute, Henry Schumacher of the European Chamber of Commerce, and others.

“Aside from our powerhouse line-up of Speakers and Advisors, what makes the IMWell Summit truly exceptional is the fact that it’s a pioneering event in regional cooperation. It is the first of its kind to present the global state of healthcare, explore current and future opportunities in medical tourism, and map out a strategy for the growth of the entire industry,” added Alumno.

The IMWell Summit is produced and organized by HIM Communications, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism as Host, and supported by the Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry, Retirement and Healthcare Coalition, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Spa Association of the Philippines, with HealthCORE and Asian Academy for Healthcare Executives as Knowledge Partners.

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HIM Communications



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