Medical tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry that is expected to grow generously over the next few years. For the people interested in healthcare services, the price of surgery and the associated costs of these services are key factors involved in the decision to receive outbound medical care. The healthcare and wellness tourism industry has evolved in many developing countries such as Greece, Singapore, India, Jordan, South Africa, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
According to the WHO, there is an increasing demand for medical tourism, which is anticipated to have wide economic implications. The world is experiencing both qualitative and quantitative shifts in inpatient mobility, as people travel from rich developed to middle income and technologically advanced countries to access health services. Low cost of treatment, economical flights, and online access to medical services information drive patient mobility.
Medical travel is anticipated to rise notably over the next five to ten years. According to Patient Beyond Borders research, it is estimated that medical tourism ranges from 60,000 to 750,000 medical tourists annually. The huge difference in the cost of the surgery is also one of the crucial factors driving the medical tourism market size. According to a 2011 OECD report, procedures such as heart bypass cost more than USD 100,000 dollars in the US. However, the same procedure can be availed in less than USD 4,000 dollars in Mexico.
Low cost and Low-Waiting Periods are Key Factors Contributing to Growth of Medical Tourism Industry
- Quality healthcare along with low-cost medical services drive the medical tourism market.
- The rising number of internationally accredited and technologically advanced healthcare facilities with highly skilled medical professionals is boosting health tourism globally.
- Increasing ease of international travel and favorable exchange rate of currency in the world economy are the key factors driving growth in the market.
- Rapid advances in medical technology and the standards of care in most countries will enable vendors to expand in the global market.
- A low waiting period for elective surgical procedures will be beneficial growth enablers for medical tourism companies.
- Availability and accessibility to alternative and ayurvedic medicines are boosting the Indian medical tourism market size.
Awareness of Medical & Wellness Tourism Packages and Favorable Government Policies are Ongoing Trends to Boost Market
- Favorable governmental policies for hospitals to accept foreign patients will increase the medical tourism market share.
- Vaccination tourism is an upcoming trend in the global market.
- Affordable health & wellness tourism packages are fueling the health and wellness industry.
Low Cost Technologically Advanced Medical Services and Rising Number of Elective Surgeries to Boost Cosmetic Segment
Based on specialty, the medical tourism market is segmented into cosmetic, dentistry, cardiovascular, orthopedic, organ transplant, bariatric, fertility treatment, and others. The cosmetic segment holds the major share due to the rising trend of elective surgeries, body contouring, breast augmentation, and gender reassignment, etc. However, due to the rising hormonal disorder and infertility, it is anticipated that fertility treatment can be the fastest-growing segment. Increased focus on research related to the reproductive systems and technological advances in IVF and test-tube babies are anticipated to boost the growth of the segment.
Increasing JCI-Accredited Hospitals, Surge in Qualified Professionals in Medical Tourism Destinations, and Establishment of New Hubs to Boost APAC Medical Tourism Market
Based on region, the medical tourism market is segmented into North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia has been attracting a large medical tourist base due to its high standards of hospitality and its exposure to the latest technology. The low-priced treatment options in Asia, availability of a variety of treatments, improved infrastructure in terms of healthcare facilities, and attractive locations for tourism after treatment also serve as major contributors to its increasing popularity. India, being one of the leaders in the medical tourism industry in Asia, it is estimated that private sectors provide 75%-80% of its healthcare services and investments. The annual number of medical tourists entering Asia is anticipated to have surpassed 10 million by 2015 with Singapore, Thailand, and India and acquiring more than 80% of the medical tourism market share. There are more than 80 JCI-accredited organizations in India, Singapore, and Thailand alone, with several more coming from different parts of the continent.
Countries such as Thailand, Singapore, India, and Malaysia are favorites among medical tourists. Several new countries are proving to be strong contenders in the medical tourism industry. The UAE, Taiwan, and Greece have shown considerable growth in the sector, with increasing medical tourists preferring to travel to these countries each year.
Of the 1.2 million patient visits to Dubai Healthcare City in 2014, 15% were medical tourists, mostly from other parts of the GCC. Greece, too, has attracted its share of medical tourists due to its low costs and serene landscapes. Israel, Turkey, and Puerto Rico are some of the other emerging medical tourism hubs.
In recent years, the medical tourism market has been raised as one of the income-earning and competitive industries in the world and is considered a modern field of advanced tourism. Therefore, a great number of countries and healthcare facilities are seeking to develop this type of tourism. Some of the prominent players include Aditya Birla Health Services Limited, Anadolu Medical Centre, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, Asian Heart Institute & Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., Asklepios Klinik Barmbek, Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, Barbados Fertility Center, Bumrungrad International Hospital, Clemenceau Medical Centre, Fortis Healthcare Limited, Gleneagles Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Loewenstein rehabilitation hospital, Max healthcare, Medanta, CIMA Hospitals, American Hospital, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Taipei Medical University, Acibadem Healthcare Group, Istanbul Memorial Hospital, Jordan Hospital, King Hussein Cancer Center, Severance Hospital, Clinica Biblica Hospital, Christus Muguerza Alta Especialidad Hospital, and among others. The medical market is anticipated to be highly competitive where the service providers are exploring opportunities to attract more patients. Furthermore, government initiatives for medical visas and growing medical tourism facilitators have gained immense popularity in the global market.
- Healthcare Facilities
- Government Institutions
- Medical Travel Agencies
- Tourism Providers
- Medical Tourism facilitators
- Health Insurance Providers
- Venture capitalists and investors