Pedro Cabrera, President of the Official College of Physicians of Las Palmas, then proceeded to talk about the quality training that our medical professionals receive and drew our attention to the fact that many doctors are currently being forced to seek work abroad and how the consolidation of Gran Canaria – and, indeed, Spain in general – as a reputable medical tourism destination would give them an alternative opportunity.  Finally, Melchor Camón, Councillor for Gran Canaria Tourism, thanked Canary Medical Key for its initiative in organising a conference which focussed on a business opportunity for both the tourism and health sectors.

The conference commenced with Sergio Moreno – Professor at Las Palmas University, Marketing Unit Director at TIDES Tourism Research Centre, UNESCO Chair of Tourism – presenting “Tourism Sector in the Canary Islands: Where We Are and New Opportunities” sharing his vision of the present situation of the tourism industry in the Canary Islands, the importance of good online presence and the opportunities that Medical Tourism can offer Gran Canaria.

The conference continued with Sebastian Sansó – Managing Director, San Roque Hospitals Maspalomas – explaining the EU Directive on Cross-border Healthcare and the opportunities that it presents.  He also spoke about Medical Tourism in general and the experience that the San Roque group has had in this area.

M.Paz Llorente then gave an in-depth view as to why people seek medical treatment abroad and the range of opportunities that Medical Tourism can bring to both the tourism and healthcare sectors.  She highlighted the many attributes of Gran Canaria, ideal for enabling it to become a well-known, reputable Medical Tourism destination on the international circuit. Subsequently going on to present her company and detail the services that Canary Medical Key offers, contributing towards a promising future for this sector here.

Finally, Cristina Cardona – Executive Global Program Manager, Medical Tourism Association – gave her expert global vision of the current situation and growth of the sector, displaying examples of successful Medical Tourism destinations. She stressed the importance of guaranteeing a positive experience for the patient, real commitment, plus proper training and development. The first Canary Medical Key Medical Tourism Conference brought together a number of dignitaries and relevant people from the tourism industry – such as Pablo Llinares, Head of the Gran Canaria Tourist Board and Ramón Suárez, Councillor for Tourism in Maspalomas – and numerous professionals from the hospitality industry. The conference proved to be an excellent opportunity for all to get to know each other and exchange points of view.