More and more people are traveling to other countries in the search for receiving medical care. That is also known as medical tourism, and it has become quite popular in the past few years. There are many famous locations across the world that offer these services, but one of the hottest locations today is most definitely Houston. Once known as the home of America's space program, it now shifted its interests a bit, and it attracts a substantial number of medical tourists every year.
So, is Houston becoming a medical tourism destination?
With the numbers that are constantly increasing, we can say it is most definitely on the rise. So, while some people decide to buy health products and do some home-healing, the majority is visiting Houston in the search for recuperation.
The rising path of medical tourism in Houston
Ever since 2014, Houston had promising plans to build a name for itself as the capital of medical tourism, not only in the US but around the world as well. They had some setbacks due to poor marketing and recession, and the competition from Mexico didn't help either.
The marketing campaign was mostly revolving around individual companies presenting themselves, but now everyone works as a whole. As the years went by, every aspect of this plan improved. The crown jewel of medical tourism in Houston is Texas Medical Center.
Texas Medical Center
Texas Medical Center is one of the largest medical establishments in the world. The main goal for TMC was to become a global healthcare destination, and exactly that has happened. The core idea of that plan was to increase the number of affiliations around the world, including many foreign hospitals, private medical facilities, and companies, and medical schools. Furthermore, they have many offices set abroad.
The entire TMC complex consists of over 54 institutions, which includes 21 hospitals and eight research and academic institutions. The number of employees is over 106,000. They receive over 160,000 people every day and over 7 million people over the year.
The most renowned TMC institutions
One of the best cancer centers in the world is the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and it is located in the Texas Medical Center. To name a few more, in the TMC you can also find:
There are many more to be found. An interesting fact is that the largest number of heart surgeries is performed at TMC, more than anywhere else in the world.
The future of Houston as a medical tourism destination
With so many phenomenal feats already accomplished, Houston is attracting a substantial number of medical tourists every year. However, it may surprise you that the development is not done. TMC is planning an expansion worth $1.5B.
The building of the new campus should happen over the course of 4 years, from 2019 to 2020. Major universities and research institutions over the world are seeking collaboration in what is to become five founding institutions. This project will secure 30,000 new jobs.
One of the most beautiful structures in the new center will be a multistoried building in the shape of a double helix DNA strand. The campus is stretching on about 30 acres, and this building will take most of that place. Besides a complex of laboratories designated for genomics, drug screening, and imaging, there will be plenty of space for conference and educational purposes. Furthermore, restaurants and commercial area will be a part of this complex also. You will also find a lot of pharmacies and health product shops, to add a few more to the list. TMC3 will represent a truly desirable destination for medical tourists from all around the world.
Another exciting piece of architecture that will be a part of the campus is the 60-foot-tall elevated park. With gardens, running and walking trails, and the amazing view of Houston, it will represent a place where people can rest and enjoy in outdoor activities. Best of all, it will be open to the public!
However, maybe one of the more interesting structures at the campus will be a 19-story TMC Hotel and Conference Center. With the number of tourists that may arrive every month, the hotel will have 410 rooms. The Conference Center will stretch over 50,000 square feet.
The financial plan
Financial plans are already in motion. Even though the final cost is estimated at around $1.5 billion, no one wants to make it official. Chances are that these numbers will fluctuate over the course of the next few years.
However, a plan exists!
Helix building should cost around $250 million, and it should be shared between TMC and the founding institutions. $40 million of that money comes from TMC directly, while other parties are splitting their part around $36.5 million per contributor.
The individual buildings that will belong to the founding institutions will be financed by those institutions. The land is valued at around $120 million.
The construction of the hotel will be funded through a joined effort of a private developer called Majestic Realty Co. and the TMC, and it will happen through a ground lease.
When can you pay a visit to the TMC?
This already looks like a fantastic place to visit. Even though it is still not done, you might start working on your budget to visit this amazing location. Planning a trip takes time since there are many tasks to be completed. However, you have plenty of it! Use it to prepare everything, educate yourself about the complex, and organize the entire trip, and if you need assistance when packing, always consider professionals!
Be a part of Houston's medical tourism project
If you ever asked yourself is Houston becoming a medical tourism destination, I believe that you have the answer now. The development is astounding, and there is a bright future awaiting anyone involved in this project. We can already visualize the positive impact that will arise out of these plans. Stay tuned!
Site last updated: 5. August 2020
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