Sherif Hassan’s practice is mostly focused on integrative and precision medicine, catering for the treatment of chronic Illness and emphasising wellness. Lately he has been dedicating more time to writing up health programmes for his startup company, Luxheal. He explains how medical tourism is evolving.
Information technology has been playing an increasing role. There are numerous health tourism websites that offer valuable information and guidance to consumers. I am also seeing more physician involvement in source countries – a crucial factor in delivering correct and precise information for treatment teams in destination countries. At the same time, an increasing number of countries are being presented as medical travel destinations. Due to this growth in health tourism, there is more need for hotels. These hotels are becoming more medically prepared and have access to medical facilities and information.
What do you see as being the key trends in medical tourism from your clients’ point of view?
Wellness awareness of the consumer is probably the largest contributor to wellness tourism. In addition, I have been observing in the past two years that safety is the number one factor in deciding on a destination – replacing cost savings. There is also more awareness now of the limitations of travel insurance coverage, hence there is a tendency for travelling abroad to destinations whose healthcare systems are more regulated.
AN INCREASING NUMBER OF COUNTRIES ARE BEING PRESENTED AS MEDICAL TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
What are you looking for at ITB Berlin this year?
Forging new collaborations with wellness facilities and rehabilitation clinics. I am also looking for more exposure to Innovative Technology in the Healthcare Tourism arena in general and specifically in wellness.
How important is ITB Berlin as a platform for contacts and new ideas for you?
ITB Berlin is the premier travel conference with a dedicated medical tourism pavilion. I see it an absolute priority to apply patient-centred solutions to the crux of medical information.
Photo: Sherif Hassan, Tripsetc CEO and Founder