Tenerife Health International Service, high quality medical services in paradise
Tenerife Health International Service is a firm specialized in the promotion and attraction of health tourism that represents 12 of the best medical centers and beauty clinics in Tenerife. Its objectives are offering and coordinating high quality private medical services and tourist complementary services for foreign patients that go to Tenerife to receive medical care.
There are many difficulties; the main one is probably the time factor. The internationalization of services is a long process, even more in the beauty and medical sectors. You need to build consumer´s confidence, you have to gain brand awareness. It takes long to start reaping the benefits; it is a long way."
What is the main activity of the company at the present?
We mainly focus on the international promotion of our partner´s beauty and medical services, on opening new channels that help attracting new tourist patients, and on opening new beauty and medical business lines. At the local level we promote ours partner´s activity among the foreign population living in the island; we create networking events and offer supplementary support services. We are always interested in incorporating new beauty and medical specialties not covered by our partners so we can supplement our offer.
Currently we offer the following specialties: ophthalmology (Centro Oftalmológico Muiños y Asociados), obstetrics and gynecology (Ginefem), urology (Instituto Médico Urológico), dentistry (Centros de Calidad dental de Canarias), cosmetics and plastic surgery (Centro de Salud y Estética Antonío García), hair restoration surgery (Clínica Bonome), bariatric surgery and laparoscopy (Obesidad Tenerife), traumatology (CECOTEN), gastroenterology (clínica Dr. Hernández Guerra de Aguilar), neurology (Centro Dr. Antonio Alayón), neurosurgery (Dr. Juan Lourido), and medical laboratory (Laboratorios González Santiago).
Why do you find interesting looking into foreign markets for business development?
Foreign markets are THIS´s fundamental purpose. When you open up to different markets you reduce risks in the long term, you don’t rely just on the local market so your success chances increases. In our case, the touristic sector has been growing in the last years, and Spain is acting accordingly: we have many tourists and the foreign awareness of our product is quite favorable. In our case, the Canary Islands have a lot of potential: we have an important quantity of tourists, great doctors and beauty clinics, and also a good amount of flight connections.
What projects are you currently carrying out overseas? In which countries and why?
We are working in some European countries and in the closest ones in Africa. We develop advertising and targeting strategies, we address clinics, insurance companies and agents in the sector. Flight connections are very important for our business, that compel us to work in the countries we have direct flights with; that is one of the main factors. Regarding price strategies we have to focus on countries in which we are competitive, or where they don’t have the services we offer.
We deal with the internationalization in two different ways: We attract foreign patients to come to be treated in Tenerife, and at the same time we open overseas business opportunities for our partners: medical consulting services, interventions, cooperations and associations, etc.
What problems have you encountered when trying to expand abroad? How did you solve them? Have you got any support?
There are many difficulties; the main one is probably the time factor. The internationalization of services is a long process, even more in the beauty and medical sectors. You need to build consumer´s confidence, you have to gain brand awareness. It takes long to start reaping the benefits; it is a long way. In our case we have the advantage of the high awareness of the Canary Islands, although they are not known as a place of medical care excellence with very competitive prices (depending on the country of origin). Customers do not associate us in that sector, but we are working on it. The diversification of our tourist offer works out for everyone. We have received a lot of support from PROEXCA and other agencies, and we are grateful; the support of the CANARIAS APORTA program has been essential to our project.
Have you accomplished any international achievement?
We are positioning ourselves in the European medical touristic map. We have reached many agreements with overseas clinics and we are already receiving patients. We move forward at the right pace, but it is a long process. We believe that 2017 and the next year will be the key years, we beginning to be well-known and recognized.
Why would you recommend internationalization?
Because you open the doors to a world of opportunities, because it unshackles you from local market fluctuations, and because the whole process of the internationalization involves a degree of planning and organization that ends up working in favor of the company. Living in an island we run the risk of ending up being too much self-referential, and that may affect our competitiveness and our adaptation ability. Going overseas force us to reassess our services and products, and to improve them.
Katiuska González Campos
Export Manager Tenerife Health International Service
Translated by Daniel Palacios Martínez, March 12th 2018