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Global Forum on Medical Tourism
Keph Senett - PV Pulse
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July 1, 2011
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Global Forum on Medical Tourism
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - After several years of planning, the implementation of a "medical cluster" for the Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit region has begun. A group of executives from the area's major tourist and health organizations met recently to discuss integration strategies.

A health care cluster, according to the Medical Tourism Association, is "generally an independent organization of hospitals, clinics, medical professionals and the government in a specific city, state, or region." These bodies jointly fund the enterprise, and the interests of all members are represented. The main purpose of a health care cluster is to promote the members and to build a reputation as having extremely high quality health care.

When clusters are successful, it can mean big business for the member organizations and for the hosting regions. Indeed, according to the Medical Tourism Association, "forming a healthcare cluster or medical cluster is probably the most important single step in establishing a medical tourism destination".

Last month, in Mexican Business Web, Association of Private Hospitals of Jalisco president Gabriel Najar Lopez suggested that the formation of a health care cluster could result in $450 million pesos, or triple the amount the association's 50 member hospitals earned in 2010.

Among the speakers at the meeting were Angarita Luis Mayorga, director of the Puerto Vallarta Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Carlos Arceo, founder of Global Medical Tourism Forum and president of the Mexican Association of Medical Tourism, and Dr. Jorge Hernandez Villanueva, owner of the CMQ pharmacies and hospitals.All parties agreed that the cooperation and integration of the tourism and healthcare sectors was a vital part of the success of a regional healthcare cluster.

Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit are already uniquely positioned to provide services to the growing segment of Canadian and American tourists seeking medical tourism opportunities. The area has many hospitals, clinics, and spas with an internationally-recognized reputation for quality.

The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta will host the second Global Forum on Medical Tourism, this August 24 - 26, 2011.

+ Wexico

The meeting adjourned with the agreement to meet again on July 4, 2011 to continue to explore steps towards an integrated tourism and health industry cluster in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

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