The global medical tourism market was valued at US$ 10.4 Bn in 2021 and is projected to advance at a CAGR of 13.0% from 2022 to 2031. The global medical tourism market is anticipated to reach more than US$ 72.8 Bn by the end of 2031.
Medical Tourism Market Introduction
Medical tourism is defined as the travel of patients from their home country to different destinations for medical treatment. These services include sophisticated treatments such as cardiac surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and dental care or elective treatments such as cosmetic surgeries or even routine health check-ups. As per medical tourism market research, rise in healthcare expenditure in developed countries and availability of cost-effective treatments in developing countries have made medical tourism an emerging industry. Furthermore, availability of medical tourism insurance is also driving the market. High cost of treatment in developed countries is a major factor for the migration of patients to other destinations.
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High Quality Treatment at Low Cost Augmenting Global Medical Tourism Market
High quality treatment can be availed at a lower cost in developing countries such as Thailand and Malaysia than in developed countries. Despite the low cost of treatment in developing countries, the quality of the procedure is not compromised due to the availability of resources at relatively lower cost. This results in the influx of people to avail health services in these countries. For instance, angioplasty procedure costs around US$ 55,000 to US$ 57,000 for an individual in the U.S. compared to around US$ 2,500 to US$ 3,500 in Malaysia. People travel from the U.S. to Thailand, Singapore, India, and Malaysia for medical treatments, saving 55% to 70% of their treatment expenses. The cost of dental treatment is lower by 60% to 80% in India than in the U.S. and the U.K. According to DentaVacation, a unit of U.S.-based Medical Tourism Corporation, the cost of dental fillings starts from US$ 150 in the U.S., while it costs only US$ 45 in Thailand, US$ 40 in Turkey, and US$ 20 in India. Thus, dental implant tourism is gaining prominence in developing countries such as India and Thailand.
People often go to other countries for medical operations such as breast augmentation and liposuction. Others choose to have extra skin removed. Several individuals go to seek additional elective treatments, such as LASIK eye surgery or dental operations, which are not covered by insurance policies in the West and can be prohibitively expensive in some countries. Thus, improvement in healthcare infrastructure and access to high quality healthcare services at affordable prices are likely to drive the global market in the near future.
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Long Waiting Time Propelling Global Medical Tourism Market
Long waiting time for appointment with specialists for treatment or consultation is a major concern among patients and is considered a significant driver of outsourcing. Patients are compelled to wait for health services owing to reasons such as lack of medical equipment, shortage of staff, or inefficient management. Furthermore, excessive waiting time could lead to adverse health effects. Patients in developed countries such as the U.K., France, Norway, Sweden, and Canada lack timely access to medical services. Hence, they may opt to travel to other destinations for medical services.
The average waiting period in Canada for patients undergoing cataract surgery, joint replacement surgery, and coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) is 112 days, 182 days, and 71 days, respectively. If a person has to undergo a routine health examination, then the minimum waiting period is 32 days. Long waiting period presents a significant challenge to patients; hence, they prefer to travel abroad for timely surgery.
Increase in Incidence of Cardiovascular Diseases Fueling Cardiac Segment
In terms of procedure type, the cardiac segment held the largest share of the global medical tourism market in 2021. This can be ascribed to the increase in incidence of cardiovascular diseases across the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death, with an estimated 17.9 billion people across the globe suffering from CVDs. According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hypertension accounted for more than half a million deaths in the U.S. in 2019.
The cosmetic surgery segment is projected to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period. A large percentage of the population opts for cosmetic surgery to improve looks and raise confidence. Rise in impact of esthetics, influenced by media depictions of unattainable beauty standards, is anticipated to be a primary factor driving the cosmetic surgery segment. Furthermore, technical improvements in the segment have resulted in an increase in demand for esthetic procedures.
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Regional Analysis of Medical Tourism Market
Asia Pacific dominated the global medical tourism market, with more than 75% share in 2021. The market in the region is highly competitive owing to the presence of technologically advanced medical specialties, less stringent government regulations, and attractive locations. Thailand and India are recognized internationally for high-end medical services, and receive patients from across the globe. Singapore is renowned for its healthcare infrastructure and receives patients primarily for complex medical procedures.
As per medical tourism market forecast, the market in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) is anticipated to advance at a CAGR of 12.2% from 2022 to 2031. Economic growth in countries in EMEA and rise in government expenditure on advance healthcare facilities are expected to drive the market in EMEA in the near future. Turkey has emerged as a potential medical service provider and is recognized as a competitive healthcare destination. The global healthcare economic crisis has played a key role in bolstering Turkey’s health and medical tourism industry. The country’s strategic geographic location provides it an added advantage of being able to treat patients from across the globe. Turkey is centrally located between Europe and the U.S.; hence, medical tourists find it convenient to travel to the country. Furthermore, surge in demand for cosmetic surgery is propelling the medical tourism market in Turkey.
Countries in Latin America such as Brazil and Mexico attract maximum number of patients from the U.S owing to the geographic proximity and cultural similarities.
Analysis of Key Players in Global Medical Tourism Market
Fortis Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bangkok Chain Hospital Public Company Limited, Hamad Medical Corporation, Bumrungrad International Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Raffles Medical Group, and Jordan Hospital are the prominent healthcare service providers operating in the global medical tourism market. Medical tourism companies are leveraging new technologies and providing improved healthcare services through strategic initiatives and collaborations.
Transparency Market Research, a global market research company registered at Wilmington, Delaware, United States, provides custom research and consulting services. The firm scrutinizes factors shaping the dynamics of demand in various markets. The insights and perspectives on the markets evaluate opportunities in various segments. The opportunities in the segments based on source, application, demographics, sales channel, and end-use are analysed, which will determine growth in the markets over the next decade.
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