Medical Tourism initiative suggests focusing on mid-Missouri

As Columbia moves forward with its effort to attract more people seeking medical treatment, it should focus first on the 25-county area surrounding the city, a report from the Mayor’s Task Force on Medical Tourism says.

The task force, which also recommended ditching the term “medical tourism” to describe the effort, presented its report to the Columbia City Council during a Monday evening work session. Medical tourism, it said, generally refers to attempts to attract international patients. Instead, the task force suggested the city market Columbia as a “medical destination” with multiple health care providers.

Mayor Brian Treece appointed the task force, which is composed primarily of health care professionals and representatives of the hospitality industry, in August.

Guy Collier, a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in nonprofit hospitals and health systems, chaired the task force and presented its report Monday.

The task force advised the city to seek professional marketing services to emphasize Columbia’s capacity to serve as a premier health care destination. The branding efforts would underscore the depth of medical services and hospitality options available to patients. Columbia’s health care providers offer specialty care in nearly every medical field with the exception of some pediatric subspecialties and transplant procedures, according to the report.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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