As stated in our internal rules of procedure, CIAPSA’s mission is to provide quality health care to international patients, while also developing a positive image of Medical Tourism (MT) in our country.
Our aim is to join the efforts of small, medium-sized and large entities related to the health and/or tourism sectors and/or international patient support, coordination or help, so as to achieve a better insertion of MT in external markets, and thus increment the sales of the practices, interventions and services provided by CIAPSA members.
Some of the actions to be developed pursuant to our internal rules include participating in international trade fairs, symposiums, congresses, exhibitions and events, analyzing the different forms of commercial insertion in external markets, promoting the development of Medical Tourism and the image of Argentina abroad, analyzing, agreeing and eventually establishing strategic alliances with other chambers, companies and institutions so as to provide support and advice to its members.
A special note should be given to the strong and fruitful work achieved throughout the year, in coordination with the INPROTUR (National Tourism Promotion Institute), Fundación Exportar, the CAT (Argentine Tourism Chamber), without whose support and help we would not have been able to achieve many of the actions we implemented. This Steering Committee wishes to extend its special gratitude to our members, for their motivation and cooperation throughout this year, since without their support, we would not have been able to achieve such a positive outcome. The member institutions of the Chamber supported us through the contribution of their professionals, their facilities, materials, etc., and by making available to the Chamber their PPRR, MKT and Logistics departments, which proved essential to achieve our goals.
The actions developed are described below:
FAM PRESS – Feb. 2014
We welcomed journalists from neighboring countries Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru, as part of the coordination of actions with the Tourism Promotion Institute.
This included visits to the medical facilities of our partners in Buenos Aires, as well as to institutions in Córdoba. This visit set the bases for new partners in the province and a master agreement with Agencia Córdoba Turismo.
Medical Tourism Trade Mission: Seminar, Lunch and Workshop
City: Asunción, Paraguay – March, 27
Featuring representatives from the National Tourism Promotion Institute and presentations by CIAPSA and partner hospitals of our Chamber. A lunch was held with medical professionals from Medical Tourism related areas of expertise.
Medical Tourism Trade Mission: Seminar, Lunch and Workshop
City: Santa Cruz de la Sierra and La Paz- Bolivia, April 22 and 24
Visits were made to these two important cities in Bolivia, establishing contacts with tour operators, facilitators and medical professionals. Joint cooperation was established with the National Tourism Promotion Institute and several of our partners.
V Medical Tourism Congress Miami – organized by PROMED Costa Rica – May 2 – 5
A representative of the National Tourism Promotion Institute attended this event, together with our President, Miguel Cané, who gave a presentation on CIAPSA and our Chamber’s partner health care institutions. Our Chamber was present at the Argentine stand, together with INPROTUR.
Medical Tourism Trade Mission: Seminar, Lunch and Workshop
City: Lima – Peru – June 4
Our Vice President, Alejandro Muñiz, as well as CIAPSA’s Manager, Graciela Esponda, traveled with a representative of the National Tourism Promotion Institute and with leading members of partner institutions.
Contact was established with the Peruvian Medical Association during one of the visits, as well as with medical professionals and tour operators invited to the lunch session.
Medical Tourism Trade Mission: Seminar, Lunch and Workshop
City: Montevideo – Uruguay – June 18
This mission was greatly adhered to by CIAPSA member institutions, and was also attended by other Argentine providers interested in establishing commercial ties with Uruguay. It was organized by the National Tourism Promotion Institute, and was attended by one of its representatives.
Medical Tourism Trade Mission: Tour operator training and
lunch with medical professionals – October –Quito – Ecuador
This mission was led by the National Tourism Promotion Institute, and aimed at training tour operators and medical professionals.
Subsequently, commercial ties were established with some of them.
Bylaw Modification, APPROVED Assembly Sept 30
During the Assembly, some of the issues raised included the extension of partner categories, allowing CIAPSA to open its doors to new partners as subscribing members.
Mission to ROSARIO. August 14
It was led by a representative of the National Tourism Promotion Institute, Vice President Alejandro Muñiz and our Manager, Graciela Esponda.
A breakfast was held for operator training, where we exchanged experiences, seeking to generate facilitators for our partners.
Meeting with health care providers, we visited the Rosario Clinic Association with a large number of representatives from clinics and hospitals, to whom Alejandro Muñiz gave a presentation on CIAPSA.
This mission featured radio and TV reports, and included initial talks regarding the affiliation of new members and a cooperation agreement with the city of Rosario.
Reverse trade mission: Sept 17 – 19
City of Buenos Aires – Argentina
Facilitators, Specialists from the US and Canada
This event was hosted by the INPROTUR at the Alvear Art Hotel, where our Vice President, Alejandro Muñiz, introduced CIAPSA before a group of foreign specialists who gave presentations and engaged in networking with medical institutions at different workshops. Visits were made to the partners who so agreed to.
V Medical Tourism Congress (7th World Medical Tourism & Global
Healthcare Congress) – Sept 24
Washington – USA
This is one of the leading congresses in the world. Hosted by the US Medical Tourism Association, it features renowned international experts and allows networking with major facilitators, insurers, and self-insured companies.
Some of our partners who attended the event include Hospital Alemán: Marcelo Mastrangelo.
Master Agreement with INPROTUR – October
This important master agreement was signed with the National Tourism Promotion Institute, represented by its President, Carlos Enrique Meyercon, with the purpose of establishing mutual cooperation and collaboration to implement joint work mechanisms for the development of the Medical Tourism Product in Argentina and its projection domestically and abroad. Providing mutual support by means of advice and knowledge and/or material transfer. Preparing, promoting and/or fostering works, actions and/or activities of interest. Jointly conducting tasks in the interest of the community, whether the latter is a direct or indirect beneficiary thereof. Conducting any activity of interest to the community of for the public good, directly or indirectly related to the promotion of Argentina as a brand and as international touristic destination.
Master Agreement with Agencia Córdoba Turismo – October 28
Cooperation and collaboration Master Agreement to develop Medical Tourism in the Province of Córdoba, and abroad. It was signed by its President, Gustavo Santos and our President, Miguel Cané, in an event held within the framework of the International Tourism Exhibition in La Rural (Buenos Aires), the most important one in Latin America.
Presentation at the Medical Tourism FIT – October 27
Our President, Miguel Cané, gave a CIAPSA presentation before a qualified audience at the International Tourism Exhibition (FIT).
Managerial meeting within the framework of the FIT with our President Miguel Cané, aimed at seeking promotional fees and logistics support for international patients, facilitating their entry into the country.
Execution of the Code of Ethics agreement with OMT in Bariloche – Nov 4
Miguel Cané signed this agreement with the World Tourism Organization in a gathering in Bariloche which included representatives from all tour sectors in Argentina.
This is essentially a commitment of the private sector with the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism of the WTO. The axis on which tourism is based may contribute significantly to improving people’s lives and safeguarding our planet.
V Global Medical Tourism Business Summit. November 5 – 8
City: Tamaulipas, Mexico
Argentina Stand and MT and MT lecture
Our Manager, Graciela Esponda, traveled to Mexico, where she gave a presentation on the CIAPSA method of work, both at the public and private level.
Presentation on CIAPSA in Córdoba – Nov, 27
Our President, together with Gustavo Santos, President of Agencia Córdoba Turismo, gave a presentation in Córdoba aimed at Medical Tourism companies.
Potential: HOTEL PRESIDENTE S.A., INVESTIGACIONES VASCULARES S.A., currently being assessed by Partner Adm.
Completed: SANATORIO ALLENDE S.A. and Dr. MARCELO CARTA,
The commissions established and approved in our Internal Regulations were created and became operational:
Admission and Promotion of New Partners: Alejandro Muñiz, Elizabeth Boerr. They met with the purpose of assessing the situation of potential Chamber partners. Their work is ongoing and we have them to thank for the new members incorporated throughout the year.
Public Relations Commission (Promotion, Marketing, Institutional Relations, Press and Outreach Initiatives): Claudio Robles, Carlos Traseira, Haydee Pianelli, Elizabeth Boerr
We have created a state-of-the-art web site for the Chamber: friendly, intuitive and featuring excellent graphic design work: https://www.caturismomedico.org. In addition to information on the several touristic attractions Argentina has to offer, visitors can find information on each of the institutions which make up our Chamber.
Institutional literature for CIAPSA, as well as for the First Argentine International Medical Tourism Congress, to be held in Argentina on August 20 and 21, was also prepared.
Administration and Management Commission: Carlos Traseira, Carlos Ganem, Graciela Esponda
We seek to streamline the Chamber’s collection system.
Record and Statistics Commission: Graciela Esponda. A file design for partner data registration was submitted, and is currently being assessed to adapt it to the internal registration system of each institution.
Ethics Commission: Miguel Cané, Alejandro Muñiz, Elizabeth Boerr. The commission met in order to analyze the ethical aspects of partner behavior, and the detail of the assessment and the conclusions were outlined in the corresponding minutes.
Commission for the 2015 Congress: Miguel Cané, Alejandro Muñiz, Claudio Robles, Carlos Traseira, Elizabeth Boerr, Maria Eugenia Nano, Haydee Pianelli, Graciela Esponda.
The initial work of this commission encompassed seeking operating service suppliers for the Congress. Two options were assessed and Messe Frankfurt was selected, after which the necessary location was sought.
Promotion of Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism refers to the export of health care services and applies to patients who leave their country of origin to get preventive, curative, aesthetic or wellness health care. In Argentina it is one of the products involving most work to promote the alternatives that our country can provide to anyone requiring any kind of medical treatment or procedure.
Argentina offers several comparative advantages which position it in a place of excellence to optimize the arrival of tourists in relation to this product.
Cosmetic plastic surgery, bariatric surgery, fertility treatments and dental procedures are some of the medical specialties offered in Argentina which are already widely recognized abroad for their quality and level of expertise of their professionals, and are the most sought practices, following procedures. In addition to the above, Argentine public hospitals have proven expertise in many other medical procedures.
The expertise and quality of our professionals becomes apparent in all the representative figures our country has offered to global medicine, whose achievements are recognized around the world. René Favaloro, Luis Agote, Federico Leloir and Bernardo Houssay are some of these referent figures, who have positioned Argentina at the forefront of medicine.
However, the great added value of Argentina is its touristic offer, which can be combined with the treatments patients are to undergo. A further benefit tourists may enjoy is the development of better access to major touristic destinations, in addition to the kindness of its people, who will receive all visitors warmly.
Source: Inprotur Revista CHE
Uruguay publishes Turismo Medico en Argentina
Buenos Aires for your health
Argentina, a country with wide experience in providing quality and competitive medical services, together with the Chamber of Argentine Institutions for the Promotion of Health (Ciapsa, as per the Spanish acronym) and the Argentine Tourism Chamber (Camtur, as per the Spanish acronym), aims at offering superior health care services in the region and thus becomes a referent for Uruguayans who wish or need to seek health care abroad.
Author: María Noel Durán
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), this “comprises the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.” “Other purposes” may include a large number of activities, including medical tourism.
Although tourism and medicine may seem distant concepts, medical tourism has been gaining popularity for years throughout the world, and Argentina seeks to be at the forefront in Latin America.
What is it about? Quality health care is not readily available in many countries of the southern region, or worse, it is extremely expensive and cost prohibitive for most citizens. In the case of Uruguay, the National Comprehensive Health System allows citizens to be covered by the mutual health insurance plan or the public health system, which is not the case in countries such as the United States, where health care, although of superior quality, is very expensive and not affordable for everyone.
Argentina, and especially Buenos Aires, provide a particularly appealing offer for anyone wishing or requiring to travel abroad to undergo a specific procedure or treatment.
Alejandro Muñiz, Commercial Manager of the Bazterrica clinic and Vice President of CIAPSA, explained to Empresas & Negocios the medical tourism vision planned for the country, and the potential that Argentina has to offer as a medical tourism destination.
“Medical tourism is basically the export of health care services. Based on statistics, it is estimated that the patient travels with at least one companion”, said the executive.
Patients who seek medical care abroad do so to get curative medicine, plastic surgery (37% of all treatments), with the presence of patients seeking preventive medicine becoming more and more common.
“There are many countries where medical insurance is not as widespread as in Argentina, such as the United States. Another example is Europe, which has an efficient health care system but with very long waiting lists”, explained Muñiz.
Canada features a similar situation, where, due to very long waiting lists, Latin American countries are proposed for patients in order to balance the health care system and supply “clients” to institutions which provide quality care and are open to medical tourism.
Buenos Aires, in addition to being a very cosmopolitan city, offers unprecedented advantages in terms of medical tourism, a wide range of medical sub-specialties and certified quality medical facilities. In addition, it is very close (for example, for Uruguayan patients). In addition, there is no language barrier, prices are extremely competitive and, thanks to the Internet, prior medical appointments may be carried out in most cases through Skype and test results may be submitted by e-mail, which entails a significant saving in terms of time and money.
According to Muñiz, the first aspect visitors analyze when leaving their country for a medical intervention or treatment is quality, followed by complexity and, in the third place, price.
By the end of 2012, Argentina was receiving 11,000 health-driven tourists a year. This figure is expected to multiply, not only due to the competitiveness the country has to offer in terms of service cost and quality, but also as a result of the Medical Tourism Congress which will be held in August and will put the country in the international limelight on this issue.
To get a concrete idea regarding cost competitiveness, Muñiz showed a comparative chart in US dollars to Empresas & Negocios illustrating the price differences for the same treatment in the United States or in the Argentine capital.
“A cardiac bypass in the United States costs 194,000 dollars, while in Argentina, it costs 16,000; an angioplasty, 57,000 dollars, versus 6,500 dollars in Argentina. These are more than significant differences, which are difficult to justify”, said the expert.
Where to go?
Buenos Aires provides a wide offer of medical facilities. Ciapsa recommends going to those related to the Chamber, in order to guarantee quality in each area and sub-area of expertise.
The private clinics in the city offer high complexity services and facilities; the Austral University Hospital, Hospital Alemán and Hospital Británico are clear examples of the development of these practices.
“It is not the same to have operated on one patient than on 500”, explained Dr. Pablo Bonelli to Empresas & Negocios while touring the Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires (ICBA), of which he is the Technical Director. This phrase comes up repeatedly when talking with specialists at other medical facilities.
The large population and the increasingly common treatment of foreign patients have driven health care players to enhance their expertise in high complexity services.
“We are currently operating babies inside the womb. There is a condition characterized because there is no separation between the respiratory and the digestive tracts. Before, when this happened, 100% of the patients died”, explained Dr. Enrique Pérez Gras, from Hospital Austral.
Science and technology go beyond what one can imagine. The physicians at Hospital Austral can inflate a kind of balloon inside the fetus’ chest to create a space where the lungs are to grow. Following birth and with the help of last generation costly respiratory assistance machines, babies can not only survive but they can also do so independently. This is just an example of what might be called a scientific miracle, a daily objective for Argentine doctors.
This is how technology started to go hand in hand with the specialists to make a major contribution which has positioned Buenos Aires as a referent in health care in the world.
Personalized care is essential when choosing a country where to receive medical care abroad.
All the institutions encompassed by CIAPSA are open to consultations and communication with foreign patients who wish to consider their services. In addition, they all provide a large amount of information on-line to establish a better rapport with the user.
In turn, the hospitals in the region, such as Hospital Alemán and Hospital Británico, are fully devoted to their patients, whether pediatric or adult. These institutions are in central locations in the city, and are well known for the exclusive care they provide and their state-of-the-art technology.
The Instituto Cardiovascular de Buenos Aires has become a leading heart health care institution, which provides 78,000 consultations a year and also performs over 500 central heart surgeries, 800 coronary angioplasties and 10,000 ER consultations a year.
The Austral University Hospital is renowned for its size (40,000 square meters built along eight wings), its quality academic research and care. In fact, it was the first Argentine hospital in obtaining the top world accreditation for health care centers, awarded by the Joint Commission International, and according to the magazine América Economía, it is ranked among the top 10 hospitals in Latin America.
Clínica Zabala, one of the new establishments of Swiss Medical Group, has the advantage of integrating the group responsible for creating the Maternidad Suizo Argentina clinic, one of the most renowned in the country. It allows patients to request an appointment on-line or through a mobile application, and offers the most advanced technical facilities while at the same time, quality human care.
For international patients, it also offers a Well Test service, which includes a general physical check-up performed in three hours which comprises lung and heart exams, ultrasound and lab tests for just 200 dollars, a quite appealing offer for tourists who wish to get their health checked while on vacation.
The Bazterrica Clinic, specialized in high complexity care, includes a section on its web site which is especially dedicated to foreign patients, offering a wide range of surgical procedures and treatments for highly complex conditions.
“The quality and expertise of our medical professionals, together with the recent opening of the new building and the modern technology of all care areas, position the clinic in a privileged spot for deciding where to get high complexity care abroad”, explained Alejandro Muñiz, Vice President of the facility, to Empresas & Negocios.
When talking about vision care, Clínica Nano is one of the most prestigious in the country. The very creators of the clinic, who are referents in ophthalmology, are still seeing patients. Such is the case of Dr. Roberto Nano. Also a member of Ciapsa, it seeks to attract foreign patients seeking a procedure abroad, offering maximum quality and similar or lower costs than in Uruguay.
This clinic has over 170 highly qualified professionals and technicians in each area of ophthalmology and is equipped with all the necessary state-of-the-art technology to perform tests and procedures in over 20 sub-areas of specialty.
One million persons a year leave their country seeking medical care abroad.
“Experts estimate that the volume of patients and companions traveling for health care purposes has grown from 25% to 30% a year, while revenues have grown from 37% to 40% each year.”
Thanks to the expansion of the Internet, all prior consultations and tests can be made in the country of origin, thus saving time and money.
Source Crónicas Semanario – Uruguay
2013 Annual Report
MEXICALI, Global Medical Tourism Summit
INPROTUR participated in the IV Global Medical Tourism Business Summit – Mexicali which was held in Mexico City on October 16 to 18. In that event, Argentina had a promotional stand which presented its touristic offer related to the segment of facilitators, insurance company directors and medical service providers.
Over 300 professionals from the tourism and health sectors, 29 facilitator and insurance companies and 60 exhibitors attended this event. Argentina was able to arrange 27 meetings and participated in 19 conferences featuring international experts.
Medical Tourism workshop
On October 22, a Medical Tourism workshop was held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, with the aim of presenting the Argentine portfolio of medical services, in addition to the advantages and benefits our country has to offer.
50 local providers attended the event, including physicians, tour operators and travel agents interested in marketing this product.
World Medical Tourism Congress
The World Medical Tourism Congress is organized by the Medical Travel Association, considered the largest world organization in this segment. The sixth edition of this event took place between November 3 and 6 at the Caesars Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, United States, and the INPROTUR was present with a stand from where it provided information to participants (which in this case, included over 2,000 medical professionals, representatives from health insurance companies, insurance brokers, official agencies related to the Medical Tourism and health care industry, clinics, private hospitals and facilitators).
PRESS TRIPS 2013
Finally, in December, the last Press Trip organized by the INPROTUR was focused on Latin American journalists specialized in the area of Medical Tourism. Journalists from the Bolivian newspapers El Deber and Última Hora and ABC Color, from Paraguay, visited the city of Buenos Aires towards the end of the year.
Source: Inprotur, Annual Report 2013
A Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Rosario Tourism Agency (ETUR) and CIAPSA, the Medical Tourism Chamber
On Monday, March 2, a cooperation agreement was signed in Rosario between the Rosario Tourism Agency (ETUR), represented by its President, Héctor Leonardo De Benedictis, and the Chamber of Argentine Institutions for the Promotion of Health (CIAPSA), represented by its Vice President, Alejandro Javier Muñiz.
CIAPSA conducts several activities focused on the development of Medical Tourism; that is, the attraction of patients from abroad.
The Medical Tourism phenomenon is expanding in the region and in the world, driven by the high costs of medicine, prolonged waiting lists and the globalization of medical services, as well as wellness trends, among other factors.
Argentina offers significant competitive advantages to successfully position itself in this market, given the proven quality of its medical services, its state-of-the-art health care and technological infrastructure, an excellent price-quality ratio, the beauty and diversity of its touristic destinations, and the volume and range of flights connecting it to the rest of the world.
CIAPSA works within a strategic framework together with the National Tourism Promotion Institute (INPROTUR) and the Argentine Tourism Chamber (CAT).
The cooperation agreement between ETUR and CIAPSA seeks to incorporate medical and tourism institutions from Rosario, with the aim of fostering the development of Medical Tourism in Argentina.
Argentine Chamber for the Promotion of Health (CIAPSA) www.argentinahealthcare.org.ar
The CAT received Latin American journalists specialized in the Medical Tourism sector
This was done within the framework of the Press Trip organized by the National Tourism Promotion Institute and CIAPSA, the Medical Tourism Chamber.
Buenos Aires, February 25, 2015 – Last Wednesday, the Argentine Medical Tourism Chamber welcomed a press delegation at its office, including journalists from Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, which was part of the Press Trip organized by the INPROTUR, with the support of CIAPSA, with the purpose of increasing information and knowledge on the potential advantages Argentina has to offer as a medical tourism destination.
The event, led by CAT Vice President Fernando Gorbarán, was attended by Miguel Cané, President of CIAPSA – member entity of the CAT Board of Directors– and Emiliano Parrilli, Promotion Director of INPROTUR, who, accompanied by authorities from several medical institutions of the country, presented all the possibilities available to those who choose Argentina as their destination to undergo medical interventions.
In addition, the meeting served as framework for the official announcement of the First Argentine International Medical Tourism Congress, to be held on August 20 and 21, which shall gather over 500 participants from different regions around the world, featuring training opportunities and the possibility of discovering the opportunities for the Medical Tourism industry in Argentina and in the rest of the world.
The event, hosted by the National Ministry of Tourism through the National Tourism Promotion Institute (INPROTUR), CIAPSA and sponsored by the Argentine Chamber of Tourism (CAT), will focus on the superior quality of the medical service available through Medical Tourism in the country, and will be attended by over 20 exhibitors, both national and international, featuring a wide range of appealing proposals, trends and opportunities for each participant.
Based on the information provided by CIAPSA, “due to the prohibitive cost of medical treatments in certain countries, the lack of complexity or clinical expertise, and a search for wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle, Medical Tourism is arising as one of the fastest growing industries in the world, particularly in Latin America.”
“Key players in the health care market: Renowned national and international lecturers, the significant added value of Argentina as compared to other countries, having had three Nobel laureates in Medicine and important discoveries which have helped improve the health of people all over the world, a first class health care infrastructure, as well as the diversity and beauty of its touristic destinations and landscapes, and the presence of leading international medical tourism operators, will be some of the most important issues discussed in said Congress, thus creating networking opportunities, synergies with several players engaged in patient care, advice and international representation.”
An opportunity to learn about different international proposals, while also fostering Argentine medicine and attracting patients who decide to seek better medical care outside their country of origin.
V Medical Tourism Summit in Tamaulipas, Mexico
November 5 – 7, 2014 Opening act featuring the Governor of the State of Tamaulipas, Egidio Torre Cantú, the Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism of Tamaulipas, Mónica González García, authorities from the Reynosa Government, representatives from the different regional clusters, and foreign exhibitors and facilitators.
Argentina was a diamond sponsor with the largest stand at the fair. Foreign buyers were impressed by the quality and professionalism of the medical institutions in our country. Some of these experts and buyers were invited to Buenos Aires last September, and contributed their positive experience.
There is increasing interest in patient referral, both for preventive and outpatient treatments, and for surgical procedures.
Graciela Esponda, International Trade representative at La Posada del Qenti, gave the opening presentation which was the starting point for the summit: “Argentine medical tourism offer, work model articulated between the pubic and the private sector”, where she outlined the advantages of Argentina based on its expertise and quality medical programs, as well as on the diversity of its landscapes, all of which makes for a perfect equation for the medical tourism industry,
The outstanding and ongoing climate of the meetings allows to identify the possibility of having leading foreign experts visit our country with the aim of fostering this form of tourism, which features the most significant increase globally, as per the World Tourism Organization.