PATA Panel Calls for Medical-Tourism Regulatory Control

Five industry experts speaking at a panel at this week's PATA conference in Pattaya say that the medical-tourism industry has grown so much that it needs an international regulatory body and an advertising code of conduct. In 2005, more than 2 million people took trips to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India that included a medical procedure at a hospital or clinic, says Dr. Ridzwan Bakar, immediate past president of the Asian Hospital Federation. "We have to be very wary of some of the claims we see on the Internet," he told session attendees, [and whether] unnecessary surgery is being recommended." Bakar added that guidelines on the ethics of advertising and using images of patients need to be put in place.

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