Medical tourism trends will dominate in 2018, as the industry becomes one of the most dynamic and fastest growing sectors in the global healthcare industry over the recent decades. The demand for more advanced, quality and cost-effective healthcare services, coupled with the direct impact of globalization and urbanization have driven an increasing number of people around the world traveling to different regions or countries to seek healthcare or medical treatment. Thus, the market for medical tourism is expected to achieve stronger growth in the near future.
Medical Tourism is defined as when a patient is traveling abroad in order to receive medical treatment, due to factors such as cost-saving, better quality care, affordability, reduced or no waiting time, and more personalized care. The most common treatments people travel abroad for, include cancer therapy, cardiovascular surgeries, orthopedic 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 a second opinion from specialist doctors out of their countries. Due to its popularity, medical tourism industry trends are being talked about everywhere, from being a regular in the news cycle, predictions by leading experts and by investors taking up new opportunities abroad.
According to a recent report from Allied Market Research, the global medical tourism market was worth nearly USD $61.2 billion in 2016 and the market is expected to reach a total USD $165.3 billion by 2023, growing at a significant CAGR of 18.8%. High treatment costs and long waiting times versus better options abroad for medical procedures, advancements in technology, and the development of the market are major factors driving growth for the global medical tourism industry.
In 2016, there were approximately 14 million cross-border patients worldwide spending an average of USD $3,800-6,000 per visit in their trips to get medical treatment, including medically-related costs, cross-border and local transport, inpatient stay and accommodations. In America, it is estimated that 1.4 million Americans travel outside of the US for medical care annually.
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Top Medical Tourism Trends and Destinations
When it comes to regional markets, North America and Asia-Pacific are in the lead and collectively accounted for 63.6% of the overall global medical tourism market in 2016. Some of the prominent medical tourism destinations across the globe include India, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Dubai, Singapore, Mexico, Germany, Poland, Canada, and the U.S. According to Patients Beyond Borders, flow of patients seeking cross-border treatment options will be the highest in Mexico, while South and Southeast Asia are expected to dominate the global market in the near future.
India is currently one of the most renowned medical tourism destinations for specialist cardiac surgeries, while Singapore is well-known for expertise in complicated surgical procedures. Malaysia offers some of the world’s best medical infrastructure and treatments by highly skilled medical professionals, making it another popular destination for medical tourists, and its anticipated to become one of the top destinations in the global medical tourism market, due to its affordable treatment options and favorable government initiatives.
As medical tourism trends continue to gain popularity, which countries do you think will benefit the most in 2018 from consumers seeking treatment abroad?