Madrid Medical world travel

Madrid, 2016 world capital of Medical Tourism

Madrid became the world capital of medical travel last May by bringing together the best people in the medical tourism sector to share their knowledge and experience and ensure the long term development of this industry. The Spanish city was the place chosen to celebrate the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) Summit 2016, a high level professional event that took place from May 24th to 26th 2016 at the Hotel Meliá Avenida América in Madrid, Spain.

The summit, aimed at senior decision makers involved in the medical tourism and international patient market, attracted a record number of key opinion leaders and senior executives involved in medical tourism and healthcare businesses across the world to discuss the future of this growing industry sector.  In 2015, The IMTJ Summit celebrated in London was attended by delegates from over 130 organisations in over 40 countries, but this year’s edition exceeded the organisers’ expectations with the attendance of 350 delegates from 47 countries, numbers that position the IMTJ Summit as a worldwide reference event in the medical tourism sector

Although there are many other conferences and congresses that have grown up around the industry, most have failed to deliver the content that attendees seek and to address the major issues that face the industry. According to Keith Pollard, CEO of Intuition Communication and IMTJ Managing Editor and Conference Chairman,

What will continue to differentiate the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit is our commitment to substance, avoiding the hype that has plagued other events in the sector and being honest and realistic about the future of medical travel.”

Watch the full interview

The IMTJ 2016 summit addressed many of the major challenges and issues that face this nascent industry, such as: the current state of the market, meeting the needs of the travelling patient, removing the risks of medical travel, the role of the medical travel facilitator, legal issues in cross border healthcare and how to increase awareness of the benefits of medical travel, amongst many other.

Check the summit’s complete agenda

Along with the quality of the content, during 3 days the Summit offered other relevant features that added even more value to the event. The programme of the summit was divided in 4 main parts: the IMTJ Academic Conference, the IMTJ Awards Dinner, the b2b encounters business networking event, and the IMTJ Marketplace, a medical tourism exhibition.

See the event’s gallery

IMTJ Academic Conference

The IMTJ Academic Conference gathered some of the brightest minds involved in researching and understanding the cross border healthcare sector. The conference concentrated on the commercial and business aspects of the medical travel sector and provided a rare opportunity for academics and researchers from around the globe to share their knowledge and research into this developing sector.

The sessions gathered scholars from academic and research institutions from around the globe in order to examine and discuss existing and emerging national, transnational and cross-sectoral strategies within the medical travel sector.

The consciously handpicked speakers were professionals who have true insight and knowledge within the industry and who can get their message across to a multinational conference audience.

See the Academic Conference Agenda

IMTJ Awards 2016

The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2016 celebrate outstanding achievement in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry worldwide and recognise innovation and excellence. Unlike other awards in the sector, the International Medical Travel Journal Awards are judged by an independent panel of medical travel experts, chaired by IMTJ Managing Editor, Keith Pollard.

Watch the Awards video

According to Pollard, the awards celebrate the best providers in the industry and aim to encourage others to strive to match them:

“Medical travel is an exciting and growing global industry, with many providers delivering excellence in both medical care and customer service. The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards are the only independent awards to recognise those who are the best of the best – and hopefully will encourage others to emulate their success. The judges wanted to reward innovation and excellence, highlight best practice and celebrate those who are leading the way in the industry and delivering successful outcomes for patients.

“All our winners exemplify the way the medical tourism industry should be run – professional, offering exceptional patient care and providing the best possible medical outcomes. I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards in the hope that other clinics and companies will have raised their game to match or even better this year’s winners.”


The awards were presented at a high profile ceremony that took place in May 24th, during the IMTJ Medical Travel Summit 2016, at the NH Hesperia Hotel in Madrid and it was supported by the Tourism Association of Madrid and Spaincares.

b2b encounters

B2B Encounters brought together buyers of medical travel and international patient services with providers and suppliers seeking new business opportunities and sources of patient referral. The company b2b medical encounters organised professional networking meetings in the medical travel sector with a fresh and effective approach.

The face-to-face, one-on-one meetings enabled each Buyer to have enough time with each Supplier so that the time spent was efficient and resulted in lucrative outcomes for every participant.

Mert Akkök, Founder and Managing Director of b2b Encounters, talks about the key role of encounters between buyers and suppliers of medical tourism industry – Watch Video

IMTJ Marketplace

The IMTJ Marketplace provided a great opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their services and meet new customers.

The summit hosted 20 exhibiting companies looking to showcase their services, and network with key decision makers involved in the medical travel industry at the IMTJ Marketplace.


The organisers

The successful event was organised by the International Medical Travel Journal, in partnership with SpainCares.

Spaincares is a strategic alliance of tourism and health in Spain to offer patients the best services for health while enjoying Spain’s excellent tourist facilities. Spaincares is the brand which represents the Spanish Cluster of Health Tourism, representing the leading tourism and health institutions in the country.

Iñigo Valcaneras, Chairman of Spaincares, explains the cluster’s project to boots Medical Travel in Spain – Watch video.

The International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) provides insight into the medical travel and medical tourism sector. IMTJ was established in 2007 in response to the increasing interest in medical travel and medical tourism. It embraces many of the themes that challenge healthcare providers across the world – insurance, accreditation, marketing and promotion, quality, patient safety, levels of care and experience in treating international patients.

IMTJ is independent of the associations and special interest groups that have come aboard the medical tourism bandwagon. It aims to create a central focus for information, resources and opinion on medical travel for those involved in the industry, anywhere in the world.

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