Philippines to Host IMWell Summit to Forge Cooperation with Other Countries for Medical Tourism

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Taking the lead among four other Asian countries, the Philippines is set to blaze the trail in the booming field of medical tourism as the country will be hosting the International Summit on Medical Travel, Wellness and Retirement (IMWell Summit) on October 12-15, 2010 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Staged in collaboration with Asian players that include India, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, 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 tourism.

(seated, from left to right): Joyce Alumno, HIM Communications President; DoT Undersecretary Cynthia Carrion; Henry Schumacher, Retirement and Healthcare Coalition; (standing, from l to r) Dr. Joven Cuanang, HEAL Philippines; Marc Daubenbuechel, RHC; Samie Lim, PCCI and IMWell Summit Advisor; Dr. Sam Bernal, IMWell Summit Advisor; Dr. Sanjiv Malik, IMWell Summit Honorary Chairman; Millet Escasinas, The Medical City; and Lara Santos, Health and Leisure.

“It is 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. We have quickly gained ground in medical tourism, establishing ourselves as the “Heart of Asia” where foreign patients can experience high-quality, cost-effective healthcare from world-class doctors and medical professionals who are naturally warm, friendly and caring,” 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,” said Dr. Sanjiv Malik, a renowned international guru in medical tourism, who sits as the Conference Honorary Chairman.

“Aside from our complete agenda that covers the extensive terrain of medical tourism, 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.

For more information about the event, please visit www.IMWellSummit.com, or call (63 2) 910.8030 or 468.9999, or email info@himcommunications.com.

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