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Medical Tourism Association Partners to Foster Training, European Cross-Border Healthcare Awareness

Dec. 9, 2014 - PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- In light of new rights to access safe and quality healthcare services within Europe, the Medical Tourism Association® has agreed to partner with the European Medical Association to offer education and training for doctors and health tourism industry players who are looking to clarify and capitalize on the new rules and regulations of the EU Directive on cross-border healthcare.

The memorandum of understanding between the non-profit trade association headquartered in the United States and EMA – a network of doctors and clinicians from EU’s 28-member states – will include the development of workshops, conferences and curriculum to engage and educate healthcare professionals and raise awareness about medical tourism opportunities within Europe and throughout the world.

“Cross-border patients are just beginning to take advantage of the directive and access care across Europe,” said Renée-Marie Stephano, President of the Medical Tourism Association®, on the heels of hosting a European Summit (http://www.medicaltourismcongress.com/eu-summit-medical-t...) that offered action plans to assist member-states with cross-border issues. “But, an understanding of the EU directive and the proper training needed to provide services is nowhere near where it should be, which means opportunities that enhance health and detect serious illnesses at an early stage are being sorely lost."

Under the directive, European citizens have the right to access healthcare services in a different member state. The new rules also strike a balance between maintaining the sustainability of health systems while protecting patients' right to seek enhanced treatment offered outside their home country.

Although central and eastern European countries – Hungary, Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic – have boasted centuries-old histories as natural spa and wellness resorts, governments and hospitals in Europe have only recently begun promoting their healthcare services on an international level, particularly to patients from the United States, Canada, China, and the Middle East. In fact, the 2014 Medical Tourism Index ranked Spain and the United Kingdom among the top destinations for health and wellness travel. For rankings including a criteria-specific analysis, go to: http://www.medicaltourismindex.com/2014-mti/country-ranking/

The Medical Tourism Association® will work specifically with EMA to provide strategic, operational and educational support to develop certificate and training programs for hospitals, patient specialists and medical tourism marketing professionals.