Medical tourism, also called health tourism is the practice of traveling to a foreign nation for the purpose of seeking healthcare services; such as surgical intervention, medical check-ups, and others. The global medical tourism market will generate an explosive double digit CAGR of 21.4% during the forecast period (2017-2023).
The Oxford Economics and Visa report estimates that around 11-14 million people travel abroad for healthcare services every year.
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Market drivers include ease of travelling and development of air transport. Availability of cost-effective quality treatment in developing countries and rising geriatric population also propel market sales. Moreover, advancements in communications, adoption of in-vitro fertilization, surrogacy, retro-production, and assistance from tourism departments drive the industry.
High cost of treatment in developed countries is another strong driver of the market. It has been witnessed that the cost of treatments in the U.S. is almost 60 % higher than developing countries. Moreover, former Soviet economies, such as Poland, Slovakia, and others leverage their healthcare infrastructure for medical tourism, driving the market.
Availability and falling divergence of latest medical technologies throughout the world, growing penetration of health insurance and better prospects offered by medical tourism players are propelling the market to newer heights. International accreditation is a key factor, boosting worldwide medical tourism. Currently, over 600 health facilities globally are accredited by the U.S. Joint Commission International (JCI), which is growing by 20% each year.
Key Players in the Worldwide Medical Tourism Market
Some of the key participants are Fortis Healthcare, Asklepios Kliniken Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, Prince Court Medical Centre, and Gleneagles Global Hospitals Group.
Limited coverage and insufficient reimbursements offered by insurance companies for treatment abroad, long waiting lines, uncertainty about the quality & information, and personal identity concerns are hampering the market. Difficulties associated with cross border travel, such as documentation, cultural barriers, and VISA approval are the other constraints.
Segments of Medical tourism market:
Treatment types – Orthopedic/spine treatments, oncology/cancer treatments, cosmetic treatments, cardiovascular/cardiology treatments, dental treatments, neurology/neurosurgery treatments, fertility/IVF treatments, and others.
The Orthopedic/spine segment is expected to hold the greatest market shares by the value of 14.9 %, which is anticipated to generate USD 27, 902.8 million by 2023. Oncology/Cancer is estimated to be the fastest growing segment, at a CAGR rate of 21.9% during the forecast period.
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Asia Pacific dominates the global medical tourism market due to its large infrastructure, growing physician’s population, and cheaper labor rates. The Asia Pacific region accounted for the largest share of 43.7% in 2016. Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, India, and Singapore are expected to dominate Asia Pacific.
Americas accounted for the second largest market, driven by the development of healthcare infrastructure, technological innovations, and rising economies. Low cost quality medical services and governmental initiatives also foster medical tourism. Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Cuba are the fastest adopters of the latest trends. These regions are also popular tourist destinations for Americans and Canadians. The medical tourism market for American is anticipated to generate USD 102, 496.8 million till the end of the forecast period, growing at a CAGR of 22%.
Europe market is expected to be led by the X-soviet economies of Poland, Slovakia, and Russia. Middle East and Africa market is expected to be the region of moderate growth. The gulf economies show high currency appreciation while the African regions have poor healthcare infrastructure, both being strong market constraints.
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