Dr Maria Todd of Mercury Advisory Group finalizes draft institutionalization framework law template for health and wellness tourism destinations.

standingMKTDr Maria Todd of Mercury Advisory Group has finalized her working draft template for use in institutionalization and framework law drafting for health and wellness tourism destinations.

Todd has been engaged by many different governments to help them draft a framework regulation for health and wellness tourism. The most time consuming aspects of these projects has been starting with a blank piece of paper and educating the various Ministries and Stakeholder Trade Associations about what others have done, what has worked, how it has been implemented, and where the problems have arisen and been solved.

“With this template, we are now able to create the draft institutionalization template and framework regulation in a period of about 3 days with their local task force. This cuts the cost of consultancy projects for national regulators and task forces by about 40%, and accelerates the process to days instead of months in deliberation and drafting.”

The framework regulation and institutionalization template consists of seventy-eight Articles in twelve Chapters.

The intent of the law is to formulate rules and mechanisms for the governance and development of health and wellness tourism sector of the destination.  It features a section that must be customized by the task force to define certain terminologies and expressions utilized in the law in an appendix. While Todd has many draft examples of these terms and definitions, each jurisdiction must ensure that the terms and definitions don’t conflict with other existing and in-force regulations that never anticipated extension to health and wellness tourism.

The purpose of the framework law template addresses how the government authorities will:

  1. Govern the development of the health and wellness tourism sector in a sustainable manner effectively and qualitatively and to reduce poverty through jobs creation at all educational levels;
  2. Protect and conserve the natural resources, culture and customs, which serve as the foundation of the health and wellness tourism sector;
  3. Ensure and promote the quality of health and wellness tourism services in [location] through the introduction of a quality assurance system by providing security, safety, and comfort and by increasing health and wellness tourists’ satisfaction;
  4. Minimize negative impacts and maximize positive impacts of the health and wellness tourism sector;
  5. Identify target health and wellness consumer and insurance markets and enhance publicity with participation of both the public and private sectors;
  6. Develop human resources in the health and wellness tourism sector; and
  7. Contribute to the development of international friendship and understanding through the health and wellness tourism industry.

The Chapters cover:

  • Chapter One: General Disposition
  • Chapter Two: Health and Wellness Tourism Policy Plan
  • Chapter Three: Jurisdiction
  • Chapter Four: Institutional Framework and Funding and Creation of a PPP to manage the sector and creation of a health and wellness tourism training institute
  • Chapter Five: Quality Assurance, Standards and Licensing of health and wellness tourism businesses, as well as identifying the various types of health and wellness tourism businesses
  • Chapter Six: Obligation of Tourism Stakeholders
  • Chapter Seven: Ombudsman of Health and Wellness Tourism
  • Chapter Eight: Prohibition of Minors in Certain Settings and Activities
  • Chapter Nine: Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement
  • Chapter Ten: Fines and Infraction Penalties
  • Chapter Eleven: Interdisposition
  • Chapter Twelve: Final Disposition

The National Health and Wellness Tourism Development Plan

Included in the model framework regulation template is a provision for a national, regional and local health and wellness tourism development plan that:

(a) Formulates national policies, strategies and plans for the development and promotion of the health and wellness tourism sector of the country;
(b) Proposes measures to reduce poverty and ensure the sustainability of national health and wellness tourism development; and
(c) Integrate and synchronize the health and wellness tourism plan into regional tourism collaboration and immigration or development pacts and other international health and wellness tourism frameworks.

It also provides for periodic review and updating at least once every five years.

Institutionalization

The selected Ministry that will be assigned primary responsibility for the regulation of the core areas of the health and wellness tourism industry necessary or expedient for the effective implementation of the Health and Wellness Tourism Development Plan. The primary areas comprise of:

  • Health and Wellness Tourism promotion in and out of the country or region or locality;
  • Ensuring the quality of health and wellness tourism sector;
  • Standards of health and wellness tourism;
  • Health and Wellness Tourism licensing;
  • Health and Wellness Tourism business activities;
  • Health and Wellness Tourism security standards;
  • Destination brand standards for official health and wellness tourism business
  • Conduct of health and wellness tourism stakeholders, including officially “registered” foreign sales and referral partners
  • Health and wellness stakeholder dispute resolution proceedings
  • Management and monitoring of health and wellness tourism information; and
  • International cooperation in health and wellness tourism sector with neighboring countries and the world.

Drafting a framework regulation is complicated, time consuming, and requires both subject matter and local legal expertise. Todd is trained as a health law paralegal, has worked in health and wellness tourism for more than 35 years. She has clinical, administrative, management, and insurance contract negotiation background in addition to extensive practical experience and insights drawn from working in health tourism in over 100 countries. She has helped several jurisdictions develop legal regulations, standards, institutionalization framework laws, policies, and operating procedures, as well as definitions and terms. Most notably, she recently completed work on a new Greek Health and Wellness tourism situation assessment and recommended national strategy. In that project, she was identified as the expert to assist with the project by the US Embassy in Athens, and the project was funded by the EU, IMF and WHO. She is currently working on similar projects in CIS and elsewhere in the Mediterranean and Central Europe, Middle East, and Latin America.

Once the framework regulation is laid out, stakeholders, government ministerial representatives and other experts work collaboratively to in-fill the details that support the regulation with clear and concise standards, criteria, definitions, licensing and enforcement criteria, fee promulgation, educational and credentialing standards, badging logos, branding strategies, and promotional guidelines. They also work on dispute resolution procedures, measurement and evaluation statistical formulas, and other supporting guidelines. Typically the process used to take 12-18 months to complete. Now with this template and others she has developed, the entire process can be completed in about six months.

If you would like to know more about how Dr Todd can assist you to develop your institutionalization plan and framework laws, please contact the Mercury Advisory Group at: healthpolicy@mercuryadvisorygroup.com or call +1.303.823.4662.

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