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Singapore showcases leadership role in Middle East Medical Travel

As the leader in Asia’s medical travel industry, Singapore has established a strong presence at Arab Health 2008. With one of the most comprehensive medical specialist delegations ever to set foot in Dubai, its speakers are actively involved in four major conferences – Surgery, Paediatrics, Middle East Urology, and the inaugural Global Healthcare Marketing Conference.

These conferences are running alongside the congress, during which Singapore sees major potential in forging strong links with healthcare groups across the Middle East.

Experts from across Singapore’s distinguished panel are sharing some of the major medical advances made in the country in fields ranging from oncology, neurology, robotic surgery, as well as successful strategies in global healthcare marketing, raising industry profile, and dealing with competition within the healthcare sector.

Singapore is Asia’s premier destination for international healthcare services, with the highest number of Joint Commission International-accredited hospitals in the region. Singapore garnered the “Best Medical / Wellness Tourism Destination” award in the TravelWeekly (Asia) Industry Awards 2007, reaffirming Singapore’s position as Asia’s premier healthcare hub and the choice destination for international patients.

“Singapore welcomed more than 410,000 international healthcare visitors in 2006, with a wider population seeking ancillary healthcare services during recreational and business visits,” said Dr Jason Yap, Director (Healthcare Services), Singapore Tourism Board.

“We continue to see more people from the Middle East travelling for treatment here, particularly as awareness rises about the variety of advanced treatments available within the Singaporean healthcare system. We believe that the partnership model we are currently employing offers significant scope for growth and development,” he added.

Government agencies and companies are working together to provide a comprehensive offering for GCC residents, in particular looking to offer an alternative for those seeking advanced treatment for complex procedures overseas. The Singaporean healthcare system offers coordinated services to provide Arabic language support, medical travel and hotel arrangements, and support services for families travelling with patients.

Current trends see a high demand for haematology, cardiology, ophthalmology and oncology, as well as cell transplants, living donor liver transplants, and advanced robotic surgery from Middle East travellers. Singapore is also seeing a rising demand for cosmetic procedures from the region.

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