Noam Lanir wins big with medical tourism

Lanir markets the services of Israeli hospitals to rich patients in countries such as Russia and Ukraine.

Noam Lanir, who made his fortune with online gambling with Empire Online, has in the past year devoted most of his time to a new venture - the marketing of surgical procedures in Israel to wealthy residents of Russia and neighboring countries, otherwise known as "medical tourism".

A few months ago, Lanir founded Life Tree Marketing, which is defined as a company engaged in the marketing overseas of medical services of Israeli hospitals. For this company, Lanir rented offices in the Or project in Ramat Hahayal in Tel Aviv from Rad Bynet Properties Ltd. Life Tree Marketing has only a few employees. According to the Registrar of Companies, the company has NIS 30 million in shareholders' equity, and its officers are on Hanehoshet Street.

Put simply, Lanir is a mediator between rich people (whom some would call oligarchs) in countries, such as Russia and Ukraine, who are seeking surgical treatments in Israel, and Israeli hospitals. Lanir's main partner is Sheba Medical Center Tel Hashomer, and he has similar partnerships with Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, and Wolfson Hospital in Holon. So far as is known, Lanir is a key player in the bourgeoning medical tourism industry, which is expected to flourish in the coming years.

Sheba Medical Center's website has a Russian-language page for medical tourism. The site describes the hospital and the surgical procedures available, including complex cardiology procedures.

Lanir is just one of the players in the Israeli medical tourism market. Hadassah Medical Organizaiton has a company iMER (International Medical Evaluation and Referral), which handles a large part of the local activity. The Ramat Aviv Medical Center is another prominent player.

More than 200 agents worldwide mediate between patients and hospitals, physically assisting patients at every step from foreign airports to airports in Israel, and through the end of the stay in Israel. "I don’t like them to be called 'mediators', they are mostly very serious people," says Assuta Medical Center VP marketing Danny Engel.

Medical tourism is good business. Lanir reportedly has a revenue sharing deal with Sheba Medical Center; his share is 20%. The collaboration reportedly generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue - at least $80-90 million - giving Lanir a cash flow of at least $20 million (a quarterly cash flow of up to $2 million). He presumably makes a similar cash flow from other collaborations.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 17, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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