Belén de Vicente featured at Medical Tourism Magazine

Belén de Vicente, Medical Port’s CEO, is featured in the latest edition of the Medical Tourism Magazine with an extensive article titled “Portugal: Preparing for Medical Tourism”.

Portugal Preparing for Medical Tourism
Portugal Preparing for Medical Tourism

The article details the country’s key factors that make it a strong alternative for those seeking for medical treatment abroad in terms of healthcare, safety, infrastructures and touristic offers.

A new reality is emerging in the medical tourism industry. Portugal is taking advantage of something around for centuries – its privileged location in the old world, and beach, rural and city offerings only minutes away from each other – and communicating its resources and capacities in healthcare and positioning itself as a strong player in medical tourism.

The combination of a long tradition of high-quality touristic offerings with state-of-the-art private medical infrastructures, available 24/7 with spotless facilities and private rooms, as well as highly qualified patientoriented medical teams fluent in different languages, are the basic ingredients for the creation and development of a medical tourism cluster in Portugal.

You can read the article in full here.

Portuguese scientists discover cure for ‘broken hearts’

A ground-breaking, blood-resistant surgical glue which allows for easier reparation of cardiovascular anomalies has been created by a group involving two Portuguese scientists – Maria José Pereira and Lino Ferreira.

“When the adhesive is applied on the walls of a beating heart, they remain firmly placed despite the strong pressure that the blood applies on the heart and its blood vessels,” Maria José Pereira told the Science Translational Medicine magazine.

With a PhD in bioengineering, Pereira worked on the project with Lino Ferreira, from the Portuguese Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, and a number of other international researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The glue gives scientists new hope for a number of complicated heart surgery procedures. It sticks well to wet tissue, repels blood and water, and is strong enough to bind major blood vessels even when they are pumping – but so far it has only been used on animals.

The light-activated glue could also allow surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries, making healing times faster and decreasing the risk of infections.

The method is expected to be tested soon as an agent to seal holes created by sutures during cardiac surgery.

This is the first and safest place to begin to test the glue in patients because the adhesive will not be holding the vessels together, said the scientists.




Click here

Portugal summer holidays guide: 2014

Source: The Telegraph

Mary Lussiana, Telegraph Travel Portugal expert, has put together a complete guide for a summer holiday in Portugal.

“There is much to discover in Europe’s most westerly country, for while golfers and sunseekers flood to the southerly Algarve, swathes of the rest of Portugal remain unexplored. Regions vary enormously in their weather, cuisine, architecture and wines, so a journey from north to south yields a rich bounty of different experiences.”

Source: The Telegraph
Source: The Telegraph

The reporter explores locations and activities for all tastes, from Golf to Surf, Fado to River Cruises, etc.

The guide groups the suggestions under the categories “Coast & Country”, “Beach”, “Villas”, “Art & Culture”, “Food & Wine” and “Activities”.

You can read all the suggestions here.

15 Minute At-Home Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Worried your constant forgetfulness could be more than just a series of “senior moments?” A quick 15-minute test could provide some answers.

Researchers are saying a new pen-and-paper test that can be taken in the convenience of your home could be key in spotting the early signs of cognitive decline and dementia. Over 1,000 volunteers ages 50 and up were given the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) as part of a study by the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Researchers found the test was successful in detecting 4 of every 5 people tested with mild cognitive decline.

The 22-question exam measures orientation, language, computation, visuospatial skills, problem solving, and memory. Sample questions include:

How many nickels are in 60 cents?

How are a watch and a ruler similar?

Write down the names of 12 animals.

What is today’s date?

Draw a large face of a clock and place in the numbers.

“What we found was the SAGE self-administered test correlated very well with detailed cognitive testing,” researcher Douglas Scharre said in a release. “If we can catch this cognitive change really early, then we can start potential treatments much earlier than without having this test.”

Experts stress the importance of early detection with Alzheimer’s and dementias, providing the chance to get the full benefit of treatments sooner and also to allow for future planning. Researchers say the SAGE test shouldn’t be used to diagnose, rather to detect symptoms.

While there is no single way to diagnose Alzheimer’s, a number of physical and neurological exams are given for diagnosis. Late last year, one study showed some success in using a peanut butter sniff test to distinguish people with cognitive impairment.

Test-takers can take the assessment then share the results with their primary care physician. Researchers say the at-home test could be more effective in detecting early symptoms of cognitive decline than a standard office visit, as doctor’s often can’t observe subtle cognitive impairments during a brief visit. Missing 6 or more points on the test means there should be additional medical follow-up.

Download the test here.


Jaunted awards a Jaunty to Lisbon for Destination of the Year 2013

It’s that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can’t just let 2013 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we’re ready to get going into 2014, but first we’re taking a brief look back at the best of 2013 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,—or as we fondly refer to them—The Jauntys.

Jaunted, “The Pop Culture Travel Guide”, part of Condé Nast Traveler Network, has given a Jaunty to Lisbon for Destination of the Year 2013, following Santiago, Chile as 2012’s Destination of the Year.

The writer states that, for some reason, Americans have been ignoring Portugal and that reflects on the reactions colleagues have had over some comments – a good example being that Lisbon looks just like San Francisco. As a result, they’ve put together some basic travel packages to help you get to know the city.

Lisbon | Photo: Ryan Dearth | Jaunted
Lisbon | Photo: Ryan Dearth | Jaunted

Apart from Lisbon, Jaunted has also visited the South of Portugal in 2013 and has already plans to come back in the Spring.

You can read the article in full here.

Have you been to Lisbon yourself? Share your experiences and thoughts with us below.

Medical Port’s CEO, Belén de Vicente, becomes the first portuguese Certified Medical Tourism Specialist

Belén de Vicente | Medical Port's CEO


Belén de Vicente, CEO of Medical Port, Premium Medical Tourism Facilitator, has become the first portuguese Certified Medical Tourism Specialist.

Belén de Vicente has obtained the prestigious certification from the Medical Tourism Association (MTA), a certification of expertise within the Medical Tourism field which clearly sets Medical Port apart from its competitors and reinforces the company’s understanding of medical tourism patient facilitation services, best practices in implementation & communication and the best practices in medical tourism and International patient services.

About Medical Port | Premium Medical Tourism Facilitator

Medical Port is the first truly Global Medical Tourism Facilitator dedicated to gather Portugal’s expertise in Medical Services as well as renowned hospitality for your benefit.

Our goal as Premium Medical Tourism Facilitator is to provide you with adequate alternatives for surgeries and medical treatments in Portugal. Adequate meaning cost-effective, quality driven, according to your timings and customized to your needs. We make sure the entire process is quick, smooth and trouble-free.

Medical Port ensures you a relaxing Medical Tourism experience abroad combining medical expertise from the top physicians in Portugal with great hospitality paying attention to the details that assure your well-being. With Medical Port you’ll have full access to the best medical staff in a safe and friendly environment that will boost your quick recovery.

We will be your only point of contact during your Medical Tourism experience. We’ll listen to your needs, prepare your offer, put you in contact with the physician for the pre-assessment stage, provide you with your travel plan, enroll you at your Hospital of choice, book your favorite Hotel, a translator or chauffer. We can even organize a dreamy cruise for you, a very nice way to celebrate your recovery. Whatever your needs or desires may be, we’ll make sure they’re attended to.



Click here

Car Mechanic Dreams Up a Tool to Ease Births

It’s not a joke. A car mechanic in Argentina has invented a tool that will ease births and possibly save countless lives in the future.

The story is from The New Times and begins with the origin of his idea.

The idea came to Jorge Odón as he slept. Somehow, he said, his unconscious made the leap from a YouTube video he had just seen on extracting a lost cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same parlor trick could save a baby stuck in the birth canal.

The video below gives us a pretty good idea of how it works. Full story here.



Click here

Belén de Vicente interviewed for

Belén de Vicente | Medical Port's CEO

Interview with Medical Port’s CEO, Belén de Vicente, with the founder Vinay Grover, of online healthcare portal What’s the role of Medical Port as the first truly Global Medical Tourism Facilitator in promoting medical tourism in Portugal?

Belén de Vicente: The role of Medical Port has been quite important at this stage in which Portugal is not yet known as a medical tourism destination. This lack of awareness requires an approach mainly centered in “educating” potential target markets so they understand our capacity to deliver. In a short sentence, we are building the credibility and reputation of the country in this business.

Additionally, our role is also very much centered in promoting the reasons why patients should elect Portugal for their medical treatments or surgeries abroad (see question 3 on this topic) and with a much focused strategy in terms of target markets and customized packages. When you are not known you can’t pretend to have a general approach.

As compared to other nations like United States, Malaysia, Thailand and India, where Portugal stands as far as cost comparisons for most common procedures for example like Heart Bypass, Dental Implant, Knee Replacement and Lap Band/Bariatric are concerned?

Belén de Vicente: As to overall savings, and this depends very much on the country of origin, clients can save anything between 30 and 80% in some cases. As an example, a total knee replacement in the United States costs between 45,000 and 60,000$ whilst thru Medical Port a patient can do the same procedure in Portugal in internationally certified hospitals and with top physicians for a little over 20% of the lowest estimate in the US. Portugal is not cheaper in some procedures that, for example, Thailand, but other factors make it a better choice and overtake the price difference.

Why should Why should medical tourists choose Portugal for Medical Tourism?

Belén de Vicente: Portugal can offer a very attractive combination of three main components for medical tourism:

A) Quality of healthcare infrastructures and staff. In terms of comparison with other European countries, Portugal has healthcare public indicators above the average and as good as Germany or the Netherlands.

As an example, The Global Competitiveness Report tells us that Portugal ranks 10th in Infant Mortality and 30 in terms of Health and Primary Education, ahead of countries like Spain, U.S.A., Thailand, India or Mexico.

B) Hospitality. Portugal is known by its capacity to host foreigners and make them feel well. In medical tourism, an area in which trust and caring are main values, to serve the clients with these qualities is a cornerstone for the business. In Portugal the number of people speaking foreign languages is very high and in the services industry you can expect everybody to speak at least three languages.

C) Touristic ecosystem. Our country has the right weather conditions and the adequate lifestyle for a perfect recovery. The variety of settings that we can find in huge cities and in the countryside allows us to offer touristic alternatives for a huge range of interests and medical conditions – from sun and beach, to golf, to river cruises, to city tours. The main two cities of Portugal, Lisbon and Porto have been systematically winning touristic destination awards like the recent election from the magazine “Condé Nast Traveller” of Portugal as the best destination to travel in 2013.

Additionally Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world and this is an extremely important point to bear in mind when you travel abroad.

Are you offering package tours for the medical tourists to Portugal? Have they been cost effective?

Belén de Vicente: We offer package tours adequate to the medical condition of our clients and their companions. Some clients prefer to enjoy the touristic packages before the surgery with their accompanying person, others prefer a recovery package after surgery. This capacity to customize is very important as well as the capacity to understand the clients’ interests and concerns. We are able to offer packages for a different range of prices and tastes – from the basic flight and hotel alternative to the highly luxury touristic resort which can include an exclusive cooking and wine tasting activity or an individual visit to a museum guided by an artist. This flexibility is also very important and you can have all this wide range of alternatives at a very cost effective price since Portugal is one of the countries with the higher quality-cost ratios.

Can patients expect any language barrier, when they visit Portugal for their treatment. For example, how you will deal with a patient who speaks only their countries local language?

Belén de Vicente: If our clients’ language of origin is Portuguese, Spanish, English or French, the service can be provided in those languages without the need of interpreters. Most physicians and nurses we work with speak these languages. As for other languages, Medical port offers professional interpreters per request. In those cases the interpreters are trained by us in order to assure they understand the characteristics of a medical tourism setting and client. We believe that establishing a good and trustful relationship with our clients is a key success factor in this business.



Click here