A few months ago, we wrote an article that was very hopeful and very enthusiastic about the prospect of international medical insurance, ro of workplaces paying for medical tourism. This was a trend that not many companies tended to follow, as it is sometimes legally speaking complicated, and more difficult to track down than to use a local doctor to fix problems. Some brave medical insurance companies and agencies were working on doing just this, though, and one of them was Passport2Heaéth, a British company who saw the potential in medical tourism, and was seeking to combine the ever growing medical tourism business with medical insurance. The plan was not a huge success, and the company has folded and is no longer accepting new customers.
What the company offered
The company offered something that is entirely unique in my opinion. They offered door to door service, with a checkup and diagnosis performed in Britain at one of the many participating clinics, and ultimate treatment being performed in Spain, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, and a host of other countries. The company took care of legal issues, accommodations, and even treatment plans and flight tickets, providing service that really was door to door. So what caused the demise of a professionally performed business that is unique and caters to as many as potentially 60 000 patients a year?
Why the company failed
The company failed for three main reasons. First of all, in order to get funding, you need to be on the good side of brokers, and brokers were not investing at this point in medical tourism, which they see as a one off or a risky business, with little to no benefits that come back with the investment. The other financial reason is linked with the first. Being out of the advertising companies game, the company needed to use direct marketing and get in touch with clients themselves, and the sales cycle was so slow that the company could not stay afloat. Which brings us to our third reason.
Really this company failed because the medical market is not innovative, it is conservative and does not like change or experimentation, and for good reason. Medical insurance companies gamble with people’s lives, and are responsible for them, and obviously they need to be very conservative because of this. The company failed because it tried to sell an idea on trust in a conservative market. For consumers, patients, this is sad news, as this means that getting insurance will be difficult when getting medical travel, and it is the ruin of a great opportunity for foreign clinicians as well.