The Barcelona International Medical Academy (Bima) aims to promote "medical excellence" in public and private health services for overseas patients.
The general manager of Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, the gastroenterologist, Josep Maria Piqué, explained that the initiative started a year ago under the leadership of medical professionals without the backing of any particular clinic or hospital.
The head of Hospital Clínic’s Gastrointestinal Surgery Department, Antonio María de Lacy – a pioneer in introducing surgical techniques to Spain –, is the president of the BIMA, whose members also include the cardiologist, Josep Brugada; the oncologist, Josep Tabernero; the ophthalmologist, Borja Corcóstegui; the thoracic surgeon, Laureano Molins; and the plastic surgeon, Jorge Planas.
In addition to Piqué, the centre also comprises the traumatologist, Ramon Cugat; the epidemiologist, Josep Maria Gatell; the nephrologist, Josep Maria Campistol; the radiologist, Lluís Donoso; the hepatologist, Joan Rodés; the epidemiologist, Pedro Alonso; the hepatologist, Rafael Esteban; and the pulmonologist, Àlvar Agustí. In order to join the association, specialists have to be invited to join and demonstrate, by means of their CVs and two letters of recommendation, extensive experience and excellent international standing, explained Piqué.
The BIMA’s first initiative was sending a delegation to Moscow last year to raise awareness about medical practice in Barcelona and to offer specialised services to Russian doctors with an interest in finding out about the surgical techniques used in Catalonia.
According to Piqué, the purpose of the association is to place Barcelona at the forefront of world medicine, which is currently undergoing substantial change with the introduction of new models from unexpected places, such as Shanghai, Singapore and New Delhi, offered at highly competitive prices.