The Real Deal Miami

Bill hopes to promote “medical tourism” in Florida

March 07, 2014 05:15PM

University of Miami hospital

Forget the beaches. Florida may soon be a hotspot for “medical tourism.”

A new bill hopes to set aside $3.5 million for marketing campaigns that advertise “sun-and-surgery” packages in the state, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The bill also asks hospitals and other medical care providers to submit proposals for involvement in the promotion.

However, these types of partnerships between the state and health care providers are already happening in some places in the state. The Miami Convention and Tourism Bureau are currently partnering with seven area hospitals to provide what it calls “medical excellence with a tropical flair.”

A similar program hoping to attract Canadians to Sarasota County saw underwhelming results, according to Steven Roskamp, a partner at the retirement community Sarasota Bay Club.

“We are no longer putting tremendous effort into that,” Roskamp said. “We definitely got some business, but I was putting $10 in for every dollar I got out.” [SFBJ] Christopher Cameron