View of the Old City in Cartagena, Colombia

View of the Old City in Cartagena, Colombia

Medical Tourism Solutions recognizes that each medical tourist is unique and their needs cannot all be classified similarly.  As a result, we have developed a subsidiary that offers furnished apartment rentals in each of our primary locations to cater to those clients that are traveling with family or may be staying for longer lengths of time.

Apartment Rental Colombia has locations in Cartagena, Bogota, and Medellin where we offer fully furnished luxury apartments equipped for medical tourists or other high-end travelers.  While these apartments are equipped at levels that provide comfort and safety for international tourists, they do provide cost savings over hotels.  As a service to our clients we feel it is necessary to have options at whatever level a customer is looking for, and have developed these relationships to service this need.

While clients staying in these apartments will have access to cost savings, there is no drop-off in services rendered.  In our medical tourism packages involving furnished apartments we can customize transportation options, maid services, interpreters, tourism services, or whatever else our clients would like to incorporate. We even offer personal assistants that can accompany our clients through whatever aspect of a stay.

Further, it is important to note that there is no decrease in quality by choosing to stay in an apartment.  Each of our furnished apartments come with cable tv, high speed internet, new furniture and appliances, and many even have beach-front views.  For more information on these medical tourism pacakge options contact one of our representatives today.

Let Medical Tourism Solutions bring your surgeon to you.

Let Medical Tourism Solutions bring your surgeon to you.

This seems to be a difficult question in the development of the medical tourism industry, with varying standards and criteria being used by organizations and companies throughout the industry.  How do you judge quality in medical tourism?  What are the benchmarks that should be used?  Is it accreditation?  Is it affiliation with U.S. facilities?  What about the number of patients going to a particular facility?  While these are all good measures, which we support and believe to be part of the decision-making process, at Medical Tourism Solutions we would like to put forward another important variable which sometimes gets ignored:  the specific surgeon who operates on the patient.

Multiple studies have shown that one of the biggest factors leading to a quality outcome in a surgical procedure is the experience of the surgeon performing the operation.  Strangely though, many medical tourism operators and hospitals have pushed the surgeon to the background and ignored this essential variable in the decision-making process.  Considering a pre-surgical consult with the surgeon is a mandatory part of the surgical process, why wouldn’t these parties want to introduce the surgeon to the patient up front in the process?  Medical Tourism Solutions believes that the most important element of this equation is the personal relationship between the surgeon and the patient.  As such, we require all of our patients to speak with their surgeon of choice before even boarding a plane.

So, why would a company not want to call attention to their surgeons?  We’re not sure.  But, our guess is that by doing so they might diminish the need for them to be part of the medical tourism equation.  Is this the case with all companies?  Obviously not.  There are many ethical and quality medical tourism companies out there.  But, with the rapid growth in this industry, it is true that some less than reputable companies are damaging the reputation of medical tourism and the industry as a whole.

As a result, organizations such as the American Medical Assocation (AMA) have come out with guidelines on best practices within the industry.  One of the key features of this type of standards is the introduction of transparency to the interaction between facilitator and patient.  This is the goal of our emphasis on the surgeon.  Introduce the patient as early as possible to the one that will be performing the medical procedure.

In advocating this practice, we hope that other companies will follow our lead and bring greater transparency to this market, thus leading to increased patient satisfaction.  For more information on Medical Tourism Solutions and our philosophy, please contact us at any time.

Medical Tourism Solutions

Meet the Surgical Team of Bariatric Support Group

Meet the Surgical Team of Bariatric Support Group

Medical Tourism Solutions is excited to announce a partnership with Bariatric Support Group (BSG) in Cartagena.  With this association, North American patients now have increased access to one of the most experienced bariatric surgery groups in the world.

Bariatric Support Group is a fully inclusive organization designed to assist patients in the treatment of obesity.  Experts in gastric bypass surgery, with over 3,600 successful procedures performed, BSG also includes dietary counseling and psychological assistance in their pre and post-surgical program.

When it comes to surgery, one of the biggest factors that differentiate the quality of care across the board is the experience of the surgeon.  The surgical team at Bariatric Support Group consists of Doctor Felipe Chaux, senior bariatric surgeon, member of the American Society of Bariatric Surgeons (ASBS), and member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES).  Dr. Chaux specializes in bariatric surgery, performing up to 35 procedures per week.

Overseeing the whole process is Doctor Francisco Holguin, general surgeon and medical director of MediHelp Services in Cartagena.  Dr. Holguin is an experienced trauma surgeon with years of experience and training in the U.S.  He is also a member of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) as well as the International Society of Surgery (ISS).

Assisting with all procedures is Doctor Abraham Ganem, bariatric surgeon.  Performing a gastric bypass operation requires three surgeons, as well as an anesthesiologist.  Dr. Ganem has years of experience working with Dr. Chaux in bariatric procedures.
In addition, he is a member of the American Society of Gastroenterology (ASG) and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES).

Important to emphasize when considering a surgical procedure is the quality of the facility where the work will be performed.  MediHelp Services is a full-service private hospital in Cartagena, built to cater to the needs of the international medical tourist.  With fully equipped operating rooms and a state-of-the-art intensive care unit, MediHelp Services is designed for the comfort of the international healthcare patient.  In addition, it is accredited by ICONTEC, and the ISO 9000:2001 certification of quality standards.

Medical Tourism Solutions is proud to offer our services in compliment to this professional organization.  For more information on Bariatric Support Group please go to their new website:

Bariatric Support Group

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

While the recent Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report suggested that the market for medical tourism is booming, there are some interesting factors that will contribute to the growth rates that the report predicts.  It is obviously exciting to hear that there were 750,000 U.S. outbound medical tourists in 2007.  And, the possibility that there will be 6 million U.S. outbound medical tourists by 2010 is astounding.  But, growth rates of this magnitude depend on a number of factors which remain to be seen.

Along these lines, the upcoming medical tourism convention in San Francisco should provide some interesting indicators of the acceleration of this trend towards overseas healthcare.  Put on by the Medical Tourism Association, this convention will bring together insurance providers, international hospitals, medical travel facilitators, and other interested parties to talk amongst themselves, network, and learn about the possibilities that currently exist.

The most important factor that will influence these potential growth rates of the medical tourism market is the participation of U.S. health insurance providers.  Currently the average medical tourist pays for their procedures out-of-pocket.  While the cost savings are enormous, the ability to pay necesarily limits the scope of this industry.  If the larger health insurance companies sign on, then the growth rates will become astronomical, and likely exceed the predicted 200% that Deloitte suggested.

For all those tuned in to this emerging market, this conference will be an interesting barometer for the future direction of medical tourism.  As with all important developments in the industry, Medical Tourism Solutions will be there to monitor these indicators and remain on the cutting edge of this nascent trend.  For more information on Medical Tourism Solutions click on the following link:

Medical Tourism Solutions homepage

Many of us who have been to Colombia are familiar with the quality of healthcare available here. For those who have not been here yet, there are some interesting developments afoot. Medical Tourism Solutions has gotten word that there are eight hospitals in Colombia which have begun the process of JCI accreditation.

Joint Commission International (JCI) is the international wing of the Joint Commission (JCAHO), the organization that accredits hospitals in the U.S. Having accredited over 150 hospitals abroad, JCI has become the gold-standard for international hospital accreditation. Especially for those who are looking for in-patient procedures, a JCI hospital is the place to start.

What does this mean? While it can take a few years for a hospital to earn accreditation, this is a big step for Colombia as a medical tourism destination. Classically, the medical tourists coming to Colombia have been for plastic surgery, dental work, and bariatric surgery. When these hospitals gain this accreditation, Colombia will come further to the forefront of medical tourism through its expertise in organ transplants and other technical procedures.

In the mean time, we will have to just keep building step-by-step through the quality experiences individual patients have had. For more information on Colombia and the medical tourism offerings available contact Medical Tourism Solutions.

Medical Tourism Solutions website

Who says you can’t get access to affordable, but quality plastic surgery? Before the advent of medical tourism this may have been the case. Not anymore. Medical Tourism Solutions is proud to announce a partnership with Doctor Javier Lopera here in Medellin, Colombia.

Doctor Lopera, who is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), specializes in procedures of the ears, nose, and throat. While he has come home to work where his family lives, Doctor Lopera has a world of experience. With training with Dr. Cheney at Harvard Medical School (Massachusets Ear and Eye Infirmary), and Dr. Adamson in Toronto, Doctor Lopera is amongst the leaders in his field here in Colombia.

The key to success in surgery is obviously continued education, and in this area Doctor Lopera has been busy. He has attended numerous conferences in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Argentina as well as in his native Colombia.

But what really sets Doctor Lopera apart is his dedication to people. In his 16 years of private practice, he has never lost sight of why he got into medicine: to help people. Typically the biggest difference maker in a patient’s satisfaction with a surgical procedure is the comfort level they feel with their surgeon of choice. For anyone considering medical tourism for an ear, nose, or throat procedure, Doctor Lopera should be high on their list of people to check out.

For more information on Doctor Lopera and Medical Tourism Solutions, take a moment to view his profile at the following link:

Dr. Javier Lopera Profile

Waiting room in Dr. Alejandro Mejia's office

Medical Tourism Solutions is proud to announce our affiliation with Doctor Felix Alejandro Mejia and BOCCA Contemporary Dental Clinic. In our search for high quality healthcare and dental providers we have chosen only the best of these professionals that we have interviewed. As a result, we are now offering Dr. Mejia’s dental services as our exclusive provider here in Medellin.

Dr. Mejia is more than just a highly qualified dentist, he is also a wonderful human being. Yes, he has trained in the U.S., at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Yes, he has also lectured in international locations sharing his expertise on NOBEL BioCare. And yes, he is also a the director of the Post-Graduate Oral Rehabilitation department at CES, a prestigious university here in Medellin. But, most importantly, he operates his practice as if every client were his only client.

Medical Tourism Solutions invites you to get to know Doctor Alejandro Mejia and what he can do to improve your smile here in Medellin. For more information, click on the following link:

Dr. Alejandro Mejia Profile Page