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30

April
2017
Woman having teeth examined at dentists

HEALTH TOURISM – AFRICA’S ECONOMIC GAME CHANGER

PAN-AFRICAN HEALTH TOURISM BACKGROUND

A significant new element of trade in health care has involved the movement of patients across borders in the pursuit of medical treatment and health; a phenomenon commonly termed ‘medical tourism‘. Medical tourism occurs when consumers elect to travel across international borders with the intention of receiving some form of medical treatment. This treatment may span the full range of medical services, but most commonly includes dental care, cosmetic surgery, elective surgery, and fertility treatment. There has been a shift towards patients from richer, more developed nations travelling to less developed countries to access health services, largely driven by the low-cost treatments available in the latter and helped by cheap flights and internet sources of information.

Pan-African Health Tourism is on the rise, having surpassed expectations on the spectacular deliveries produced within the medical sector. The adoption of international processes has created an undisputable attraction of international and African health travel seekers into the economy.

Success rates for procedures that can have high infection such as; heart, bone marrow and kidney transplants, are comparable to those at some of the world’s most renowned hospitals, making African health tourism a not to be missed revenue generating opportunity.

With nearly 7 million patients annually travelling to different regions across the world to seek health care, the global health tourism industry is valued at $20 billion per year.

South Africa has gained a reputation as a destination of choice for:

  • Cosmetic surgery (breast, face, liposuction)
  • Dentistry (cosmetic and reconstruction)
  • Cardiology/cardiac surgery (by-pass, valve replacement)
  • Orthopaedic surgery (hip replacement, resurfacing, knee replacement, joint surgery)
  • Bariatric surgery (gastric by-pass, gastric banding)
  • Fertility (IVF)
  • Organ, cell and tissue transplantation (organ transplantation; stem cell)
  • Eye surgery
  • Diagnostics and check-ups

Furthermore, South Africa, alongside other African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana have a sophisticated, well-developed and organised tourism industry which competes comfortably with some of the best tourism destinations in the world.

With the above in mind, the opportunities for Health Tourism on the African continent are vast. It is necessary to create a Pan-African platform for engagement and sharing of ideas amongst all the parties in the industry value chain as well as amongst African countries who can benefit from a coordinated industry approach.

The Pan-African Health Tourism Congress is the flagship event of the Health Tourism Sector, designed to serve as the exemplar of the optimized African Health Tourism event model under the banner “Taping a Larger Share of the Health Wallet”.

The Congress will address among other issues the 21st Century style of health tourism;

  • The large numbers of people travelling for treatment.
  • The shift towards patients from richer, more developed nations travelling to less developed countries to access health services, largely driven by the low-cost treatments.
  • New enabling infrastructure – affordable, accessible travel and readily available information over the internet.
  • Industry development: both the private business sector and national governments in both developed and developing nations have been instrumental in promoting medical tourism as a potentially lucrative source of foreign revenue.

The Congress is scheduled to take place from the 07th – 09th of June at the uMfolozi Hotel Casino Convention Resort, Empageni, KwaZulu Natal.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Ms Hazel Matebwe on +27110407353 alternatively or email hazel@mcgroup.co.za visit the Congress website – https://www.panafricanhealthtourismcongress.com/ . Join the conversation on Twitter @PAHTC2017 #PAHTC2017

Drop your comments below and let us know what you think. You can also send in your travel stories to info@afrotourism.com and follow us on twitter, facebook and Instagram.

Chinenye Egwuonwu

Chinenye Egwuonwu

Sub-Editor
Chinenye Emezie-Egwuonwu is an author and essayist. She enjoys reading, baking, and wouldn’t mind spending her day buried in the pages of decor magazines! She is the subeditor at Afro Tourism.
Chinenye Egwuonwu
Chinenye Egwuonwu
Chinenye Egwuonwu

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