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  MEDICAL TOURISM STRUGGLED TO TAKE OFF


:: Other times, other customs. Plastic surgery and dental implants, for example, long reserved for showbiz stars, more democratic. However, if in some countries such operations contributing to the growth of medical tourism in Morocco, this activity is still embryonic. According to a recent study by management strategy and cooperation of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Observatory of tourism, medical tourism has not developed in our country "for lack of suitable distribution channels" . Only a few surgeons based on the Rabat-Casablanca practicing in this field.
Assets, but ...

:: However, the kingdom has many advantages for this sector that affects all types of care (general surgery, plastic, ophthalmologic ...) develops. Proximity to mainland Europe, surgeons graduates of colleges and universities worldwide recognized competence in international medical tourism infrastructure and strong enough (clinics with the latest technology ...) are favorable data that can only make Morocco a destination privileged "patients" foreign. According to the study of the Ministry of Tourism, four factors contribute to the development of medical tourism, whose growth rate is 30%: the more advanced technology, best quality medical care, faster access to health care and a cheaper cost. Ingredients that Morocco includes but are not well exploited. Moreover, the study proposes a number of lessons and recommendations for Morocco to develop and especially enjoy the medical tourism industry, which represents several billion dollars in revenue internationally.

:: Thus, the establishment of "an innovative strategy that integrates the global tourism trends and challenges of globalization" is necessary. The kingdom should also diversify its offer to cope with behavioral changes of tourists. Define regulations and provide the sector with legislation in consultation with all stakeholders, promote investment in the health sector, to create agencies that specialize in medical tourism, upgrading of private clinics to meet the international standards ( remember the controversy exploded earlier this year between the Department of Health and some private clinics), train staff in clinics and hotels are, among others, actions that give new impetus to medical tourism in Morocco . An activity that would, undoubtedly, to the goal state to reach over 20 million tourists by 2020.

:: With an annual turnover of more than $ 60 billion, medical tourism heralds the emergence of a new market for international health. Indeed, to meet the growing demand for this new type of tourists (more than 3 million tourists, mainly from rich countries including USA, Canada, Britain, the Gulf countries ...), several countries have engaged in offering medical tourism packages, vacation surgeries including surgery and relaxing stay. Travel agencies specializing in this "new business" have emerged in countries like Turkey, Thailand or Tunisia. In these countries, the competitive edge lies in technology and expertise has been acquired over many years.

The Tunisian model
Several South American countries, Asian, Eastern European or African medical tourism is a real economic leverage. If Brazil, Bolivia and Costa Rica have specialized in plastic surgery, others, notably Hungary and Romania, are more known for dental surgery. In Asia, Thailand and India have specialized in organ transplantation, cardiology specialties, dental care and open heart surgery. In North Africa, Tunisia and Morocco are considered new El Dorado of the scalpel. Unlike our country, Tunisia has experienced in recent years a sharp rise in medical tourism. Indeed, over 250,000 patients, who came especially for cosmetic surgery, visited the country. This sector, which owns 5% of exports of services, representing 24% of the turnover of private clinics, or at least 175 million euros. To accompany this new industry, the Tunisian government has created a few years ago two agencies organizing trips "surgical tourism" which aims to bring foreign patients for treatment on the Tunisian territory. Better, the development plan of health tourism in this North African country provides 10-fold increase export earnings of health services by 2016.

Regulations, the biggest flaw!
"The specialist can perform the medical procedures within the specialty which is recognized". This is stipulated in Article 42 of the Law on the practice of medicine in Morocco. However, the Moroccan Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (SMCPRE) denounces a number of irregularities. "It really is anarchy! There are even some who call themselves artists ENT! "Says the president of this company, Kamal Iraqi Husseini. Some one hundred Moroccan artists (working in the private sector, university hospitals and military hospitals), the Moroccan Society of Plastics sent several letters to the General Secretariat of the Government and the Council of the National Order of Physicians for sounding of alarm, but in vain. "As a learned society, we can not intervene. It is the authorities to end this situation. Otherwise, we regularly organize seminars, conferences and round tables to raise public awareness about the danger of this situation. Our country is on track, you just prohibit these charlatans to destroy everything, "adds Dr. Iraqi. However, and according to WHO, this situation is not unique to Morocco, since 90% of plastic surgery procedures worldwide are performed by non-artists!
"Morocco has great assets": Kamal Iraqi Houssaini, visual artist and president of the Moroccan Society of Plastic Surgery

Daily Les Echos: A craze for cosmetic surgery foreign national is to be noticed these days. How do you explain that?
Kamal Iraqi Housseini: Contrary to appearances, there are not many foreigners who come to operate in Morocco. Unfortunately, Morocco is not well placed compared to other countries in the region, while it is one of the first Arab countries to engage in cosmetic surgery in the 1950s. I think this is primarily a problem of communication and media. We have skilled plastic surgeons, from prestigious schools and international universities. This benefit is not well exploited to make cosmetic surgery a thriving sector in our country.

What about patients Moroccan?
Moroccans are engaged increasingly to plastic surgery, but they still have fears. Indeed, there are several misconceptions that make the general public does not have a clear idea of ??the area. I confirm ... it is a communication problem. It's not all, the media in Morocco speak of cosmetic surgery when there are rarely incidents and successes of our surgeons.

Can perform all cosmetic surgery in Morocco?
All acts without exception are available in our country. The best equipment and best technologies available today in Morocco, not to mention the quality of our plastic surgeons. In a word, the kingdom has nothing to envy to other leading countries in this field worldwide.
Do you think that medical tourism in general and plastic surgery in particular can contribute to achieving the


target of 20 million tourists in 2020?
Absolutely. We are all mobilized to achieve this goal. Morocco has also all the capabilities to achieve this vision. However, certain actions must be implemented quickly if we want to take the right path, including the application of the law which regulates the industry.

By Fatima-Ezzahra SAADANE
ECHOES DAILY
Saturday, September 3, 2011 11:00

         
Réalisé par : 1NEWLOG        CLINIQUE IRAQI D'ESTHETIQUE 89, Bd IBN SINA CASABLANCA – MAROC Tél. : +212 (0) 522 36 07 71 /+212 (0) 522 36 07 77 E-mail : ccecasa@gmail.com