Colombia ‘set to become Latin America’s prime health tourism destination’

Colombia has developed into one of the premier destinations for health tourists in Latin America, said the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Tuesday.

Minister Sergio Díaz-Granados claimed Colombian doctors treated nearly 4,000 patients from other countries in 2011, leading to a profit of $6 million for the year, citing figures from the Colombian Association of Medical Tourism. He also claimed that the influx of foreign patients has created thousands of jobs for Colombians in the industry.

Diaz-Granados believes that in 20 years Colombia will be recognized as a world leader in health tourism, potentially bringing in $6 billion in revenue.

“Due to the quality of medical professionals, the good number of health institutions and the huge list of of attractions (…) Colombia is projected to be one the main destinations (…) of health tourism,” he said.

According to officials, most foreign patients come to Colombia for its services in cardiology, orthopaedics, cosmetic surgery and dentistry.

Most health tourists in Colombia are from the United States, Spain, Panama, Mexico and Canada.

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