New health complex could boost Colombian medical tourism

A new health complex in the capital Bogota, costing between $11m and $19m, could boost health, wellness and cosmetic tourism to Colombia. The construction of the Bosque Beauty Garden hotel and medical centre is expected to begin next March. It is the result of a partnership between spa company Altos de Bosque and construction company Ricam. The health centre and adjacent hotel will cover 52,000 square feet.

Cosmetic surgery will be a major part of services on offer, with five-star accommodation for visitors alongside shops, green space and conference rooms. The complex with be the first of its kind in Colombia and will have 130 rooms and 40 doctors offices.

According to the Medellin-based cluster group of medicine and dentistry, and the Cali Chamber of Commerce, there were 18,000 health tourists in the region in 2010. 10,000 of those were foreigners, mainly from Curacao, Aruba, Suriname, the United States, and Spain. Bogota estimates similar numbers in 2010.

According to Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism the most popular treatments sought by visitors are heart surgery (41%), general surgery (13%), gastric band surgery (10%), cosmetic surgery (10%), cancer treatment (6%), orthopedic treatment (4%, dental care (2%) and eyecare (1%).

Guillermo Rincon, the man behind its construction, says “When this is finished it will be the first in the country, meeting the needs of a rapidly growing sector in Colombia.”