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Editor's blog 27th October 2008: Healthcare tourism, or getting it right at home?

God morning - I hope this finds you well.

The eagle-eyed Tom Smith has spotted and written about the UK's self-styled 'first medical tourism show'.

Now this is one hell of a financial risk by the organisers. Olympia (even Olympia II, the 'baby' venue) costs tens of thousands of pounds to hire, even for a launch.  It is one of London's premier exhibition venues. the revenue is from stands and sponsorshiop, as admission is free. Costs (ecxcluding VAT) for 'Shell scheme' were £240/m2 + VAT (minimum 6m2) , or £205/m2 for 'sapece only' + VAT (minimum 18m2) - pretty reasonable by trade standards.

The point is that even with NHS waiting lists plummeting and HAIs moving in the right direction, the organisers have kept faith that there remains a significant market here. I wonder how many PCT and SHA commissioning directors were checking out prices nearby in Europe, in anticipation of the EU directive also mentioned in Tom's piece.

We also have a new instalment of The Maynard Doctrine . This considers a major recent theme here on Health Policy Insight - healthcare costs in a recession, and wonders just what we are going to do about the clinical variation in quality and outcomes that we are pretty much certain to find.