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The role of associations in medical tourism


In most countries, the right to associate is constitutional, and France is not an exception. For more than a year, the association of medical tourism has been actively developing in France. It helps not only to assert themselves at the international level but also to develop this sector in its own country, where it is still semi-dormant.

Almost every country that has at least a little involvement in medical tourism (both outbound and inbound) has its own association. New market participants often contact associations, as they have a lot of connections that can be useful.

How useful are the associations in the field of medical tourism?

  • They show you the ropes and introduce the specifics of the targeted market. Let's say that if you are interested in Ukrainian market, first of all, you should contact the Association of Medical Tourism in Ukraine, where you will be given information what is worth doing, and what is better to avoid, how to position yourself, etc.
  • They help to establish relations. In the arsenal of associations, there are patients, clinics, local and international buyers, as well as many other professionals in this sector. If you have any questions regarding a particular performer (magazine, portal) or exhibition, consult the representatives of the association.
  • Also, patients or buyers often approach them directly because it is considered that the non-profit organization is more honest and in its opinion deserves more trust.
  • In some countries, it is difficult to enter the market without cooperation with associations. In the United States, patients are wary of companies or clinics that have not been certified by local authorities. And in France advertising of medical services is prohibited, therefore it can be easier to enter the market through the association.
In theory, the status of the association implies a non-profit organization but small contributions and paid services are natural, since the organization has costs and expenses, and they have to make a living. Unfortunately, practice shows that there are associations with less altruistic attitudes that are clearly looking for the opportunity to make a buck and profit from the fast-growing sector, or, even worse, they may have the goal of monopolizing the market hiding behind a good non-profit organization.

How to spot a good association?

  • Communicate with the representative of the Association, find out how they will react to your problem and what solutions you will be offered. What are the proposed solutions? If they are very expensive, not personalized then it’s better to turn down their offer.
  • Remember that popularity on social media, on the Internet, is not always a guarantee of conscientiousness.
  • Nobody will give a one hundred percent guarantee of the fruitful cooperation with the association. Only personal experience through trial and error will help in that regard.
However, your participation is clearly necessary for the successful development of your business.
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