Medical tourism enables communities to develop their local, regional and national economies.

Successful medical tourism strategy produces sustained development that promotes the standard of living, medical/dental and economic health of a specific area. All too often, medical tourism strategy is scoped by an individual stakeholder(s) without the means, the authority, or the involvement of the policy makers and communities of the destination.

The key difference between successful medical tourism projects and those that are doomed for failure is the planning, strategy execution and divisions of responsibility between the public and private sectors. To succeed, the strategy must plan for the integration of public sector responsibilities to support the actions of the project investors and suppliers.

Maria K. Todd, MHA PhD

Making the Leap from Private Stakeholder to Destination Development
5th Mexican Medical Tourism Congress (2014)

headshot-Maria K Todd, MHA PhD
Maria K Todd, MHA PhD Author: Handbook of Medical Tourism Program Development



Economic development is a policy intervention endeavor with aims of economic and social well-being of people, which, when successful, yields economic growth and a rise in GDP. To achieve economic development through medical tourism, the strategy and plan of action must involve multiple areas including development of human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives.

“All to often, in so many countries, private hospitals and clinic owners rush to sell their excess capacity or surgeons’ time without first developing any product strategy or marketing strategy. Medical tourism simply doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The best chance for success lies in knowing which target market you will attract and building the right product strategy and brand strategy to build a singularity that places the product in the mind of the consumer as the only product that can meet their needs”.

The mere presence of a hospital or clinic, doctors, an airport, hotels, some tourism attraction, taxi cabs and a website is no more of a medical tourism product than if one had a pile of raw steel, glass and rubber and called it a “car”.

Maria K. Todd, MHA PhD

1st Medical Tourism Congress

Johannesburg, RSA (2009)

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