Jonathan Edelheit's Keynote Speech

Good morning and thank you for joining us for our 12th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Abu Dhabi. I would want to thank the government of Abu Dhabi for bringing this conference from the US after 11 years to Abu Dhabi for its first time in the region.

We are excited to have our first event Always a dream to come to the middle east October 15-17, 2019

Now we are here.

The MTA has worked all over the world launching the top destinations in medical tourism. We have launched the initiatives for South Korea, Washington DC, State of Florida, Las Vegas, Zagreb and now Abu Dhabi.

Last October we signed a 10 year agreement with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi to help develop Abu Dhabi into a top healthcare destination. This included inbound and outbound roadshows to showcase Abu Dhabi’s hospitals, branding and marketing of Abu Dhabi globally as well as moving our global conference to Abu Dhabi, of which has fully come to life starting today with us here at this summit.

We believed in Abu Dhabi’s vision and would like to thank our partner, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi for their support of this important initiative over the last year. The Department of Culture and Tourism is a model of how every government around the world should support their country’s medical tourism initiative. Their passion and belief and support of this sector is unmatched, and they have an amazing group of people that are passionate about making this become a reality.

Yesterday we hosted our annual Global Ministerial Summit. It was a great event and I would like to thank H.E. His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism–Abu Dhabi for his support and for speaking yesterday at the summit.

I would also like to thank H.E. His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health–Abu Dhabi for his support of the WMTC Abu Dhabi and for his support and vision for Abu Dhabi’s medical tourism initiative and his presence at the ministerial summit.

The Medical Tourism Association has worked closely with the Department of Health and it’s medical tourism team which has a strong commitment to this industry and a commitment to quality and transparency. The Abu Dhabi Department of Health has created a model for the world by reporting and publishing it’s medical tourism data directly on its website for the public to see. JAWDA And Quality. Abu Dhabi’s JAWDA and Quality initiative and transparency not only shows the commitment of DOH and the Abu Dhabi Government but is going be it’s winning success.

Working in this industry for over 15 years I can tell you that a destination’s success in medical tourism ONLY happens when government departments work together, put aside differences and competition and focus on coming together to build a strong foundation and a brand for a destination.

It’s also important for the private sector, the hospitals, to put aside their competition also to work together to build the brand for the destination. After the brand is established then the local hospitals can compete.

This is an example of how we worked with the South Korean’s government in medical tourism over 10 years taking them from being nowhere (zero) in ranking globally in healthcare and medical tourism to now having a reputation of being one of the top destinations in the world. We see the same elements happening here in Abu Dhabi and the Medical Tourism Association plans to work closely with DCT and DOH to accomplish this.

We have some great keynotes for you this morning

  • Mubarak Al Shamisi, Director, Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau
  • Keynote – Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Director of Healthcare Quality, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi
  • Keynote – Dr. Rakesh Suri, CEO & Chair of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeries, Cleveland