Medical tourism is defined as the travel of patients from their home country to different destinations for the purpose of treatment that may also incorporate an extended holiday. Availability of Rise in healthcare costs in developed countries coupled with the high quality medical services at lower prices in developing nations has primarily surged the expansion of the medical tourism industry.
A market study on the global tourism market, recently published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) estimates this market to rise at an exceptional CAGR of 17.90% over the period from 2013 to 2019 and reach a value US$32.5 bn by the end of the forecast period. The Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019,” states that the worldwide medical tourism market attained a value of US$10.5 bn in 2012.
Medical tourism is defined as traveling from one location to another with a purpose to gain medical assistance. Generally, people from developing nations travel to developed countries for medical treatments that are unavailable in their own countries due to poor medical and healthcare infrastructure.
However, in recent years, people residing in developed economies have also begun travelling to lesser developed countries in order to gain cost-efficient medical assistance.
According to this study, the falling cost of medical procedures in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea, Poland, Costa Rica, and Dubai is encouraging people to travel to these countries for their treatment and, in turn, is propelling the global medical tourism market significantly.
In addition, the widening range of medical treatments available in these nations, coupled with technical advancements in the field of medical and healthcare, is likely to boost this market greatly during the forecast period, states the market report.
In this study, the global medical tourism market is analyzed on the basis of its regional spread.
India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Taiwan, and South Korea are the major medical tourism markets across the world.
Thailand has emerged as the most popular destination for cosmetic surgeries among the medical tourists from Western Europe. In 2012, this country had welcomed around 2.5 million foreign patients, accounting for approximately 45% of the overall number of foreign medical tourists arrived in Asia.
However, Malaysia is likely to dominate the global medical tourism market in the coming years.
Almost 0.7 million patients were treated in this nation in 2012. Analysts expect around 2 mn patients to gain medical assistance in Malaysia by the end of the forecast period, notes the research report.
The report further states that India and Singapore are the most preferred destinations in case of complex medical procedures. India has attracted a large number of patients due to its increasing popularity in the field of cardiac treatments.
Costa Rica, Dubai, Poland, and the Philippines have been identified as the prospective countries for medical tourism in this market study.
Samitivej Sukhumvit, Raffles Medical Group, Fortis Healthcare Ltd., Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, Asian Heart Institute, Bumrungrad International Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Min-Sheng General Hospital, and Prince Court Medical Center are some of the major organizations operating in the global medical tourism market.