Brazil Wants to Make Medical Tourism a One-Million Dollar Industry

The Brazil Health Consortium, established by nine organizations,  and the Apex have already invested US$ 240,000 of a total of US$ 620,000 in promotional activities abroad. They want to attract more and more foreigners for treatment in Brazilian hospitals.

The expectation is to have a turnover of US$ 1 million with medical tourism over the next three years. The consortium has already participated in fairs in Peru, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Germany, Switzerland and Dubai.

"Brazil is being seen as a great novelty on the foreign market. In Dubai, for example, we caused a great impact," stated the general manager at the consortium, Mauro Stormovski. And he added:

"We want to show that Brazil is not only (Ivo) Pitanguy (the famous plastic surgeon). We offer other services in the areas of oncology, cardiology and pediatrics, among others." 

According to him, most of the foreigners who seek medical-hospital services in Brazil come for corrective surgery, and not healing surgery.

"The flow of foreigners to Brazilian hospitals," he said, "is not yet making a strong impact on the economy of the hospitals. Our expectations are to have a turnover of US$ 1 million with therapeutic tourism over the next three years."

Apart from the consortium operating in the attraction of foreign patients for treatment in Brazil, it provides consultancy services in hospital management and the execution of engineering projects for assembly and maintenance of hospitals and clinics abroad.

Stormovski also stated that the Brazilian hospitality may contribute to the attraction of foreigners to the country. "The good conditions and accessible prices aligned with Brazilian hospitality may attract more and more foreigners," he said.

Apart from providing an impulse to health tourism, the idea of the consortium is also to promote exchange between hospitals and Brazilian health sector professionals with specialized centers around the world.

In the medical-hospital area, the consortium counts on five hospitals: Hospital Brasí­lia, in the Brazilian capital; Hospital Moinho de Vento, in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul; and in São Paulo, in the southeast of the country, Hospital do Coração (HCor – Heart Hospital), Hospital Samaritano and the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital.

In the area of education and research the consortium includes the Brazilian Association of Intensive Medicine (AMIB) and Zerbini Foundation. In projects and technologies are companies L+M Gets and MHA Engenharia.

Arab World

The Brazilian medical-hospital equipment is already recognized in the Arab market, and now the next step is to attract the Arabs to the services that the sector offers.

With this objective, the Brazil Health Consortium has been promoting its work on fairs in the Middle East. "Brazil has excellent hospitals and offers excellent quality services at competitive prices. This is our differential," says Stormovski.

The Brazil Health Consortium, established last year in a partnership with the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), started promoting Brazilian medical services in the Arab market this year.

Last week, the consortium participated in Arab Health, the largest health sector fair in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and in April the organization is going to return to the Emirate to participate in the International Medical Care and Diagnostic Conference and Exhibition (IMD-IHF).

Two of the hospitals in the consortium were established by ladies from the Arab community in Brazil, the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital and the Hospital do Coração. As is the case with the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital, the HCor is also developing a site in Arabic to attract new patients from the region. "We are also preparing Arabic versions of the hospital folders for distribution at international events," stated HCor superintendent Antonio Carlos Kfouri.

According to him, HCor already treats foreigners from all around the world, but with the agreement the objective is to increase the attraction of patients from abroad. Specialized in cardiology, the hospital also offers services in the area of orthopaedics, oncology, neurology and preventive medicine. The organization, established over 80 years ago, currently receives around ten foreign patients a month, from Latin America and Europe.

Due to its historic connection with the Arabs, the HCor is also greatly interested in providing services to them. "We must show the Arabs that they do not need to go to London or the United States for qualified services. Our services are warmer when compared to those of developed countries and we offer more competitive prices," stated Kfouri.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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