In a move designed to showcase South Africa’s high quality facilities and services for health, wellness and medical care in foreign markets, the Medical Tourism Association of South Africa (MTASA), will be launching a web portal in collaboration with a number of stakeholders at the Mediclinic Morningside on 23 February 2012.
“As a collective, we are here to ensure that medical tourists experience excellent service and high quality care throughout their stay in South Africa,” explains MTASA member Lorraine Melvill, of Joburg-based Surgeon & Safari, one of the country’s pioneering medical concierge consultancies, established in 1999. “The value chain includes numerous steps and players, products and services and the website www.medicaltourismassociation.org.za gives potential visitors a convenient information portal of services and facilities to get them started.”
Over the past 10 years Johannesburg has played host to thousands of visitors seeking health, wellness and medical services – often combined with short holidays either prior to or post their treatments and procedures. One company in particular, who has played a significant role is medical evacuation specialists ER 24, “We are excited about our membership with the medical tourism association and offer our expertise in medical evaluation, foreign patient facilitation and aero-medical evacuation to assist patients across Africa that have little or no access to quality healthcare,” says Marc Fourie, Marketing Manager of ER24.
Such is the demand for these services that South Africa has emerged as a medical tourism destination of choice amongst African travellers more especially and the medical tourism sector, as a niche market with significant growth potential for the country, has been earmarked for development by national government. The intention of launching the portal is to bring about initiatives that advocate and showcase South Africa’s world class medical facilities, services and personnel and thus position the country as a premier destination of choice for health / wellness and medical care, enabling its members to excel in this regional and globally competitive market, with a clear code of conduct in place.
“As a vital travel and medical services hub on the African continent, Johannesburg hosts a large proportion of medical tourists in South Africa,” says Phelisa Mangcu, Acting CEO of Joburg Tourism Company (JTC). “In our role as the City of Johannesburg’s destination marketing arm, we are supporting and amplifying MTASA’s efforts by also unveiling our own medical tourism portal on the JTC website: www.joburgtourism.com to coincide with their national launch today”.
The Medical Tourism Association of South Africa (MTASA) is a Section 21 non-profit trade association, which provides a common platform for diverse industry players with a collective interest in the medical tourism value chain. The launching of the MTASA web portal offers the industry an opportunity to commit to common values – integrity, transparency, accountability, direct communication, sound fiscal management and good corporate governance – that are conducive to the benefits of industry and consumers.