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Medical Tourism Passes Senate

The Florida Senate has passed a bill that would market the state as a destination for medical procedures to national and international audiences.

The measure (SB 1150) passed with a 38 to 0 vote Thursday. It would allow the spending of $3.5 million in state funds to promote Florida's medical facilities and surrounding attractions by Visit Florida, the public-private partnership charged with attracting tourism to the state.

The state Chamber of Commerce and other supporters believe Florida offers a number of high-profile medical services but has done little to promote them.

Many developing countries advertise their medical services, focusing on the affordable care and procedures that in some regions can be half the price of those in the U.S.

The bill now goes to the House for its consideration.