A report from Florida TaxWatch
Why Florida should embrace medical tourism
Already a capital of global tourism, Florida has an opportunity to bring even more tourists and more revenue to the state by investing in medical tourism, according to an independent analysis by Florida TaxWatch. The report, "Medical Tourism in Florida," finds that patients visiting Florida from around the United States and the world for planned medical procedures could have a significant impact on the state economy and while improving residents' health care options.
"Florida's world-quality health care professionals are a valuable resource for the state," said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. "Highlighting Florida as a world-class vacation and medical destination will increase state revenue to the benefit of taxpayers and will firmly establish the state as a thriving location for health care professionals and businesses."
Florida is on the precipice of a medical tourism boom, with many state and local providers engaging in their own medical tourism initiatives. Florida is already a worldwide leader in traditional tourism, and the report highlights the opportunity to expand Florida's tourism marketing activities to include medical tourism and the state's superior health care facilities and talent.
Out-of-state patients taking advantage of Florida's superior medical services in cosmetic and elective surgery, cancer care, and chronic disease treatments bring new revenue sources to the state. The report suggests that patients and their families may contribute a significant amount to local communities where they are staying for care, as well as the state, increasing economic prosperity across the health care, hospitality, transportation, recreation, and entertainment business sectors.
In addition to increased state revenues and lower tax burdens for Floridians, a growing medical tourism industry could improve health care for permanent residents, as more doctors and top medical talent decide to remain in Florida. While medical tourism has been occurring in Florida with select health care providers, the state has not yet implemented a plan to market Florida as a medical tourism destination.
"Medical tourism attracts more than medical tourists. It attracts businesses, jobs, and encourages health care professionals to remain in Florida, while improving health care options for our Florida residents," added Calabro. "Just like Florida's traditional tourism venues provide unique resident-exclusive opportunities to Floridians, medical tourism facilities will provide added value to residents."
Florida TaxWatch is a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that over its 33-year history has become widely recognized as the watchdog of citizens' hard-earned tax dollars. Its mission is to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and education on government revenues, expenditures, taxation, public policies and programs and to increase the productivity and accountability of Florida state and local government. Its support comes from homeowners and retirees, small and large businesses, philanthropic foundations, and professional associations. On the web at www.FloridaTaxWatch.org.