Is Florida a tourist destination for medical treatment?

WHEN PEOPLE outside our great state think of Florida, visions of sunshine and palm trees, beaches, Mickey ears, and theme parks immediately come to mind. Certain lawmakers, however, are proposing a bill at this year’s legislative session that would utilize state funding to promote Florida as a “destination for quality healthcare services.”

The bill (HB 945) was filed by Rep. Fred Costello. It would set aside at least $3.5 million per year for the marketing efforts, which would be carried out by Enterprise Florida. The funds would be pulled from a bigger pot that is allocated for tourism marketing. In the Senate, an identical bill (SB 86) has been filed by Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean.

If approved, the marketing efforts would focus on our healthcare providers, showcasing their knowledge and qualifications, as well as aim to position Florida as a prime destination for medical industry conferences and business opportunities.

A similar bill was proposed last year and failed, so it will be interesting to see how this one pans out during this year’s legislative session.



Celeste Jo Walls is editor of Central Florida Doctor magazine. She may be reached by e-mail at

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