The Medical Tourism Association, Quality and Accountability

Over at the Traveling 4 Health blog, I’ve been talking to Ilene Little and reading about the Medical Tourism Association’s (MTA)newest publication promoting Las Vegas as a new medical tourism destination for both American and International patients.

The irony of this destination is highlighted by the city’s own newspaper, The Las Vegas Sun, which has an extensive series, ‘Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas’ detailing recent health scandals in Las Vegas hospitals, as well as 2010 reports ranking several of the facilities in Las Vegas among the worst in the nation.  In fact, the opening sentences in the article series are, ” There’s a running joke about hospitals here: “Where do you go for great health care in Las Vegas?”

“The airport.”

It’s a disappointing entry by an organization I admire – but unfortunately, it highlights the lack of accountability by medical tourism companies to their clients. Someone needs to care about the quality of the product (providers and services) that they are promoting.  Too bad it isn’t the MTA since they are certainly among the movers and shakers in the international medical tourism industry.  The rest of us are just tiny fish in a great big pond of obscurity.