High healthcare costs in developed countries has led to the emergence of a new type of foreign travellers. A large number of people from North America, Europe, and Australia are seeking treatment in countries where their strong national currency puts them at an advantage. India, Costa Rica, Singapore, Mexico are witnessing an influx of foreigners seeking affordable cosmetic surgeries and transplants.
Factors Driving the Medial Tourism Market
The US dollar trades for 66 Indian rupees and 530 Costa Rican Colon (as on 12/1/2015). Australian Dollar, Euro, and other currencies in the developed world are also comparatively stronger than currencies of emerging countries. This gives foreign travellers a huge cost advantage, and according to modest estimates, an American medical tourist can expect to save anywhere between 60-80% when seeking treatment in India.
Universal healthcare is a hotly-debated issue in America and elsewhere. As governments grapple to meet the ever-rising costs of a large ageing population, a significant percentage of patients are making the cross-border move to avoid the long wait.
Asia Dominates Global Medial Tourism Market
Asian countries have become the sought-after destinations for medical tourism. There are two factors that make Asia such an appealing destination for foreign travellers. One, the cost savings in India, Malaysia, and Thailand are higher than Latin American countries. Second, healthcare institutions in Asia is not only affordable but also highly advanced. Several healthcare institutions in Asia are certified by the Joint Committee International (JCI), an international agency that accredits international institutions.
The global medical tourism market is expected to expand at a high double-digit CAGR in the next five years. It is estimated that global revenues will surpass US$ 30 billion by 2020, and as more countries upgrade their healthcare systems, further growth is expected.
Although cost plays a major role in deciding medical tourism destination, other factors, such as proximity, culture, and insurance portability are also of considerable importance. For example, Americans looking for a short travel may be inclined to choose Latin America over Asia. According to Future Market Insights’ analysis, accreditation plays a key role in building trust and confidence, and regions with a high number of JCI accredited hospitals received higher medical tourists.
In addition to JCI accreditation, the overall reputation of a country’s healthcare system impacts decisions. Also, medical tourists also factor in the geo-political factors while narrowing down on potential destinations. Countries with a travel advisory find less favour with tourists.
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Considering the scope of the medical tourism market, government support is of paramount importance. As medical tourism brings billions in annual revenues, Asia governments have extended support to their healthcare industry by relaxing visa restrictions and providing financial support for getting accredited. By removing restriction on licensing of foreign healthcare specialists, governments are making it easier for healthcare institutions to hire foreign doctors and surgeons.
The key players in the medical tourism industry are Bumrungrad International Hospital (Thailand), Clemenceau Medical Centre (Lebanon), Anadolu Medical Centre (Turkey), Wooridul Spine Hospital (Korea), Prince Court Medical Centre (Malaysia), , Gleneagles Hospital (Singapore), , Fortis Hospital India, and Asklepios Klinik Barmbek (Germany).
The information presented in this article is based on the report, “Medical Tourism Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2014-2020”. For a free sample of the report and table of contents (TOC), please visit http://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-249