Medical tourists flock to Las Vegas for treatments - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Medical tourists flock to Las Vegas for treatments

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It has been one of Mayor Carolyn Goodman's top priorities, and now companies are taking advantage of Las Vegas in terms of medical tourism.

One company even has hundreds of visitors from around the world coming to the valley just to get pregnant.

"I see a lot of people from all over the world," said Sher Fertility Institute founder Dr. Geoffrey Sher. "I would say about 80 percent of the patients I see come out of state or out of the country."

Sher opened the institute 14 years ago in Las Vegas and his only regret was not coming to the city sooner.

"There must be something special being offered - something that's different - out of the ordinary that meets a very special need," he said, describing what attracts medial tourists.

His patients arrive from places like Abu Dhabi, South America and Canada to name a few - meaning they are spending money not just on treatments, but hotels, food and entertainment.

Beverly Vanamburg and Stuart Bradley flew in from Canada two weeks ago for fertility treatments.

"We were like, Vegas? We were taken back and surprised by that so it added more excitement to the whole adventure," said Vanamburg.

"We actually got to go up to the mountains and we saw 'O.' That was spectacular," she added.

Goodman has pushed medical tourism in her first two State of the City addresses, with the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health acting as the poster child for the mission.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority even put out a 176-page Health and Wellness Destination Guide with a list of treatment centers and even how much visitors should plan to spend on their trip.

Danette and Kraig Kohls are just starting their medical tourism trip and are already spending the cash.

"Tonight is David Copperfield. Tomorrow is Rod Stewart," Dannette Kohls remarked. Kraig Kohls added, "We want to make sure we're supporting your economy because it looks like it's hurting, right?"

The LVCVA estimates that each medical tourist will spend about $2,400 in Las Vegas in addition to their procedure.

In 2012, the United Health Foundation ranked Nevada 38th in the nation when it comes to overall healthcare. In 2011, the state ranked 39th.

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