Author: Daniel Benzler
The Medical Tourism Association® launched two certifications and professional designations for insurance and HR professionals, medical tourism facilitators and travel agents. The first of the ongoing series of workshops was held on October 27th, 2012 at the Medical Tourism Association’s annual Congress event.
“This was the first time these workshops were offered globally and we were pleased with the turnout of 64 participants,” said Bill Cook, the instructor of the workshops. “It was great to see so many people with the desire to bring real credibility to the industry through education and training.”
These workshops were designed and taught by Bill Cook, Training Instructor for the Medical Tourism Association®. He is an internationally recognized expert and author on medical tourism and international patient services, having built one of Latin America’s most successful international patient programs.
During the past six years Bill and his team:
- Managed offshore medical care for nearly 2,500 patients treated at Costa Rica’s three JCI accredited facilities
- Created and managed Hospital Clinica Biblica’s international patient department, positioning Hospital Clinica Biblica as one of the world’s premier medical tourism destinations
Certified Medical Tourism Specialist™ was the designation for insurance and HR professionals and Certified Medical Travel Specialist™ was the designation for travel agents and medical tourism facilitators. Topics included:
- Medical Travel Facilitation
- Dissecting the Medical Travel Process
- Quality Issues and Liability
- Selecting Healthcare Facilities & Providers
- Planning a Site Visit
- Contracting with Providers
- Risk Assessment and Management
Over the last four years, the MTA worked with industry stakeholders and leaders through workshops and focus groups to establish best practices and protocols for handling international patients. The certifications allowed these professionals to take away from their courses the tools necessary to develop strong health and wellness travel programs, and further their understanding of the requisites for implementation and sustainable growth of this niche market opportunity.
“Although I was a little hesitant at first about a medical tourism certification, I am now a firm believer and would recommend it to anyone who wants a thorough knowledge of this industry and facilitation in particular. The training I received is already making a difference in the way I set up my business and how I approach the needs and expectations of medical providers and customers. I highly recommend it,” said Hector Aleman, Congress and certification workshop attendee from Puerto Rico.
In order to become fully certified individuals must:
- Finish 8 hours of training/classes (this can be done either in person or online)
- Meet educational and professional experience requirements
- Pass a comprehensive 100+ question exam
After December 1st, 2012 the certification courses will be available online for anyone in the world to participate. For more information or to sign up for certification you can go to www.MedicalTourismCongress.com. The cost of the program is $1,500 for two years and it includes two years of MTA individual membership.