Another spurious medical tourism award? A bargain at £695

An international business with a mailbox in London, a family with a bit of “previous” in Australia, and a medical tourism award that could be yours for just £695. You couldn’t make this up.

In recent weeks, I’ve received a flurry of emails from colleagues in the medical tourism world asking me about a nomination that they have received for the “Global Awards 2017”, taking place in London this November. Apparently, “the Global Awards have been extended this year to include Medical Tourism and Healthcare I.T. / Apps / Digital Innovation / Financial Angels.”

I also received a nomination. (I didn’t want to be left out…). So, what did all these recipients of nominations have in common?

They all spoke at this year’s IMTJ Medical Travel Summit in Croatia. I’m sure that makes them worthy of a nomination. Or did someone just trawl the speaker list?

Recent correspondence with a Times newspaper journalist who is investigating the questionable nature of the “awards industry” and an article I wrote back in 2014 (“Want to be the best healthcare provider in Europe? Here’s how…”) prompted me to do some digging into the Global Awards 2017… what is it, who runs it, how are nominees selected and so on.

You pay for what you get

I received several emails from an Ann Richards representing the Organising Committee, encouraging me to accept the nomination.

I fired back some questions:

  • How have I been nominated?
  • Who has nominated me?
  • What are the selection criteria?
  • Who is on the Committee that has put me on the shortlist?
  • And what is it going to cost me if I win an award?

And was directed to this document: “” which appears to be all about some Over 50s Housing Awards with a few other unrelated awards tagged on for good measure. Apparently:

  • “The Awards focus on elevated performance; the creation of new business models; contrarion thinking; recognising and embracing new trends; market leadership; inspirational performance and the elevation of the customer experience.” Contrarion thinking… that’s a new one on me.
  • “Nominations are permitted via third parties, self-nomination or via our network of editors in 26 countries.” 26 editors… Sounds impressive.
  • “The final arbiter will be the editor of 20 journals across the world specialising in the over-50s housing sector and the provision of goods and services to the over-50s housing sector”. Excellent… someone who has deep insight into the medical tourism sector.
  • “The judge will apply the following test to the final selected candidate in each category: Is this claimant the best performed, most meritious, most innovative and most courageous in the category.” The best performed… Are they getting mixed up with the Oscars?
  • “A charge of £695 will attach to every awards dinner attendee”. Ah… here’s the catch. There’s no such thing as a free lunch (or dinner). So, let’s say that the organisers are paying around £200 per head to cover the room hire, the meal, the award etc, that leaves around £500 gross profit. Nice work if you can get it.

Who are these people?

The great thing about the internet? Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to find stuff out.

Let’s start with the domain, and then do some digging.

  • is registered to Bevan Crowley of the Open Eye Corporation with a Las Vegas address.
  • The Open Eye Corporation is listed on the UK Companies House database as run by a sole Director – a New Zealander, Ann Elizabeth Crowley, who resides in Australia. The Company Secretary is Wisteria Registrars, a company formation agent.
  • Esmonde Crowley (Do I see a family connection, here?) “Editor of Over 50s Housing journals and websites in 10 countries, including Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany” appears to be the judge for the medical tourism awards.
  • The mailing address for the “UK Office” and the “Awards Secretariat” of the Global Awards is Suite 212, 28 Old Brompton Road South Kensington, London SW7 3SS. See the photo… it’s a mailbox.

And there’s more:

  • Back in 2004, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) disqualified a Mrs Anne Elizabeth Crowley, of Hawthorn Victoria, from managing corporations for five years. ASIC found “Mrs Crowley was an officer of four corporations, primarily in the publishing and event management industries, which have all been wound up”, and stated that “under the directorship of Mrs Crowley, the four companies had incurred deficiencies totalling approximately $2,210,000.”
  • Back in 1998, it is reported that Bevan Crowley, was at the helm of the now defunct Media Asia Pacific, which led to him pleading guilty to two charges laid by ASIC. These were one count of falsifying a book relating to the affairs of Media Asia Pacific by the creation of 15 false debtors totalling $4,351,714 and one count of furnishing information to the stock exchange that he knew was false and misleading. Bevan Crowley was sentenced to two years jail in October 1998.
  • Esmonde Crowley has taken some criticism in New Zealand from the New Zealand Aged Care Association (Questions raised about summit). The association stated: “Our opinion is that it would be unwise to send any money to NZ Aged Care Housing Weekly for anything and to steer away from their seminars altogether.”
  • In a research paper from Consumer Affairs Victoria, Australia, entitled “Stopping Rogue Traders”, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria issued public warnings about unfair business practices and people who engage in such practices and named… Bevan Crowley, Ann Crowley, Hannah Crowley of Australasian Corporate Events (2004) Pty Ltd. The family gets bigger!

See you at the Awards Dinner in London in November?

I doubt it. I might drop by to see who turns up. Let’s hope this article helps to put people straight on what these awards are about.

And… if you’re thinking of entering any awards in the coming year, keep your eyes open for the IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2018… the only awards in the sector that are run on an independent and transparent basis supported by a panel of sixteen international judges who actually know something about medical tourism.

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As Editor in Chief of International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) and a Healthcare Consultant for LaingBuisson, Keith Pollard is one of Europe’s leading experts on private healthcare, medical tourism and cross border healthcare, providing consultancy and research services, and attending and contributing to major conferences across the world on the subject. He has been involved in private healthcare, medical travel and cross border healthcare since the 1990s. His career has embraced the management of private hospitals in the UK, research and feasibility studies for healthcare ventures, the marketing and business development aspects of healthcare and medical travel and publishing, research and consultancy on cross border healthcare.