Despite a lack of available statistics on the current market size for inbound medical tourism to the U.S., it appears that Michigan is fast becoming a hub for both domestic and international patients to receive medical care, if a recent Detroit Free-Press piece is any indication.
For example, programs like one focusing on ophthalmology run by Beaumont Hospital's Dr. Michael Trese, bring in patients from all over the U.S. and around the world each day. Trese's program--which, according to the Free-Press, specializes in helping babies at risk of blindness to see--is so successful that he travels to Italy and Puerto Rico a few times each year so his patients based in Europe, Latin and South America don't have to constantly do all of the traveling. Roughly 70 percent of his patients hail from other states or nations.
Dr. Edson Pontes, a urological cancer specialist with Detroit Medical Center, also has received worldwide acclaim. He set up the hospital's international program in 1992, and has built its reputation through hard work, lectures and collaboration. Previous patients have included late French President Francois Mitterand and Brazilian tax attorney Gerson Fonteles.
The success of international programs, like the ones at the above-mentioned DMC and the University of Michigan's Destination Programs, do more than increase a hospital's reputation and bottom line, though; they help to boost the local economy as a whole. "Many [patients] come with families who stay at local hotels, eat at nearby restaurants and visit local parks, bringing a steady stream of money," the article points out.
For more information:
- read this Detroit Free-Press article