Medical tourism is one of the most dynamically growing industries today. Considered to be the direct impact of globalisation of healthcare, medical tourism certainly exhibits strong growth potential globally. However, based on FMI’s research, the market of medical tourism is expected to concentrate within most of the emerging economies of the world.\n\nAs developing nations are increasingly heading toward technological advancement and quality services in the medical and healthcare sector, the global medical tourism market is anticipated to witness robust growth over 2014-2020, predominantly in Asian countries.\n\nThe top treatments people travel abroad for, include cancer therapy, cardiovascular surgeries, orthopaedic treatments, dentistry, cosmetic surgeries, reproductive treatments, weight loss therapies, health screenings, and medical tests and scans. In severe cases, a sizeable patient population also seeks second opinion from specialist doctors out of their countries.
Medical tourism is a popular trend that has come about due to advances in the field of medical
technology, growing number of patients and high level of expertise in the medical field. Simply
explained, people travelling from their home country to another country with the intention to
secure medical treatment, which might not be available in their homeland, is known as medical
tourism. Segments such as cosmetic surgery, dental care, fertility treatment, cardiology and
cardiac surgery are the key promoters of medical tourism. Medical tourism has made it easy for
patients to travel to other countries and get much-needed medical treatment and undergo
surgeries. On the other hand, this does have some disadvantages such as low quality medical
treatment. Also people from developed and advanced economies travel to emerging nations,
thus affecting the revenue generation in their respective nation, for instance approximately 1
million Americans travelled outside the US for medical treatment in 2014.
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Medical tourism is rapidly gaining popularity in Asian countries owing to features such as
reasonable cost of medical treatments and surgery, advanced medical technology, hospitality
services, medical professionals and expertise, qualified doctors and nurses, favorable currency
exchange rate etc. Trusted international accreditation and high quality medical services in low
prices are the key drivers of medical tourism. Patients traveling abroad for medical tourism can
save 30 % to 90%.
As a result, the demand for medical tourism is expected to witness exponential growth over the
forecast period. However, there could be restrains along with the growth drivers such as
unprofessional conduct or false medical practices, inadequate additional medical care etc.
The medical tourism market is segmented on the basis of types of medical treatment provided
and on the basis of geography. On the basis of types of treatment it is segmented into cosmetic
treatment, cardiovascular treatment, fertility treatment, dental treatment, orthopedic
treatment and other general treatments. On the basis of geography, the market has been
segmented into Asia pacific, Eastern Europe, Western Europe,
North America, and South
The major markets having the appreciation for medical tourism consist of Asia pacific, Eastern
Europe, Western Europe,
North America, and South America. Top destinations for medical
tourism are Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand,
Turkey, and United States. The growing popularity of medical tourism has also proved beneficial
for the tourism industry. For instance, Thailand in the Asia region is a very popular country for
medical as well as regular tourism.The key players in the medical tourism industry are Prince
Court Medical Centre Malaysia, Gleneagles Hospital Singapore, Clemenceau Medical Centre
Lebanon, Bumrungrad International Hospital Thailand, Fortis Hospital India, Wooridul Spine
Hospital Korea, Anadolu Medical Centre Turkey and Asklepios Klinik Barmbek Germany.
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The strategies used by these companies are, provision of exceptional surgical options, optimum
comfort level to the patients, clinical information, educational articles, expertise and specialist
medical services, best quality and safety services, provision of medical treatments in affordable
prices, creation of strong brand equity to gain competitive advantages. These companies also
adopt strategies such as collaborations, affiliations and joint ventures to expand their business.
For instance, collaboration between Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, and IBM
Watson to improve the quality of cancer care, collaboration of Anadolu Medical Center with
John Hopkins Medicine, affiliation of Bangkok Hospital with Amari Residences Bangkok Hotel,
joint venture of health berg medical consultancy and health tourism Pvt. Ltd.
These major key players in the medical tourism market offer various medical services such as
medical treatment for gastrointestinal diseases, In vitro fertilization, orthopedics, kidney
diseases, cancers, interventional cardiology, bio-compatible artificial joints, plastic surgery,
pulmonology, joint replacement and many more. However, dental care, cardiology general
surgery, urology, women’s health care services, neurology, organ transplants, plastic surgery and
orthopedic surgery are very widely offered services in medical tourism.
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