Hadassah uses Internet to attract foreign surgical patients

Almost every patient due to undergo medical procedure surfs Web to get more information about condition.

HP laptop computer 224.8 (photo credit: Courtesy)
HP laptop computer 224.8
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Hadassah University Medical Centers in Jerusalem have launched a $20,000 international Internet campaign to induce foreigners to come to Jerusalem for complicated operations on the knee, hip, eye, brain and nervous system - procedures in which its surgeons are world class and which are less expensive than in medical centers abroad. The aim is to increase medical tourism to Israel, said Hadassah's director of marketing Amitai Rotem. "In the past, we used a variety of non-focused campaigns, which resulted in too-few foreign patients," he said. The new campaign, via the A-2-Z company that specializes in marketing via the Internet, will significantly increase the number of queries and turn many of them into actual medical treatments at Hadassah, according to Rotem. Alon Zakkai, A-2-Z's managing director, said that almost every patient who is due to undergo a medical procedure first goes into Web sites to get more information about the condition and the various treatments that are available. Thus the company built a campaign aimed at patients and doctors seeking treatments in which Hadassah doctors specialize. The on-line campaign will integrate advertising in international search engines in English and Russian. A surfer who looks for a specific kind of surgery can directly reach the Web page with relevant information about Hadassah. A special Web page has been established in these languages for each relevant department, giving Internet users the ability to get in contact directly with them. Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef said at a medical conference earlier this year that Israeli hospitals - including Hadassah - have centers of excellence that can easily accommodate foreign patients and earn money that can be used to benefit medical services to Israelis.