Global Medical Tourism Market: Medical tourism or health tourism refers to the process of patients travelling to other countries to avail medical treatment for chronic diseases, mainly because medical treatment cost in their country of residence is relatively higher. For people without insurance or those needing medical procedures that insurance won’t cover, medical tourism offers an attractive alternative to rising healthcare costs. In addition, patients use medical tourism option because of better quality and personalized care, and no waiting time. Medical treatments may be medicinal or surgical, such as, dental problems, cosmetic surgery, heart bypass, heart valve replacement, hip replacement, spinal fusion, tummy tuck, breast implant, angioplasty, and many other treatments.
Asia Pacific market is one of the most prominent markets for medical tourism
Originally, medical tourism was referred to the travel of patients from less-developed countries to developed nations in pursuit of the treatments not available in their homeland. However, today we are experiencing both qualitative and quantitative shifts in patient mobility, as people travel from developed and rich countries to less-developed countries in order to access health services. Globalization, communication revolution, and better logistic connectivity has allowed patients to reach any region of world that offer necessary specialty services with excellence at low-costs.
Decreased disposable income in developed countries due to economic crisis, inexpensive flights, increased medical tourism marketing, high treatment costs and long waiting time’s circumstances for medical procedures in home-land, increase in ageing population, no insurance coverage or non-insured medical treatment, advancements in technology, and infrastructure development in emerging countries are major factors driving market growth. However, stringent documentation forms, issues related with visa endorsement, and limited protection scope are the restraining growth of market. Moreover, threat of substitutes, threat of new un-experienced entrants, competitive rivalry, lack of follow-up care of post-treatment complications and post-operation complications are other major challenges.
Nonetheless, there are various opportunities for developing countries. Governments of many countries and various medical tourism associations are beginning to support medical tourism by increasing their funding for research and development and helping patients with medical tourism procedures. With changing favorable government policies and support by associations, medical tourism has been simplified. Governments of countries such as India, China, Singapore, and Thailand have formed separate medical tourism agencies to be a part of the growing global medical tourism market, thus these factors are anticipated to propel the global medical tourism market in many ways.
Medical tourism has become a form of outsourcing medical services to developing countries. This has led to various business opportunities to sectors such as policy agencies, associations, hotels, language translators to avoid miscommunication, etc.
Asia Pacific market is one of the most prominent markets for medical tourism, with countries such as India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore leading the demand for healthcare services.
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Medical tourism market in India has reported the fastest growth among all, owing to expert doctors, cost-efficient and effective treatment for various diseases and disorders. Dental treatment has gained popularity as it is not covered under insurance in many developed countries and treatment cost is very high. Moreover, many medical and surgical procedures are no longer covered by insurance. This has attracted American population in large number for various treatments.
Key Players include Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Asian Heart Institute, Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, Barbados Fertility Centre, Bumrungrad International Hospital, Fortis Healthcare Ltd., Infectious Diseases Partners Pte Ltd., KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Min-Sheng General Hospital, NTT Medical Center Tokyo, Prince Court Medical Centre, Raffles Medical Group, Samitivej Public Company Ltd., Seoul National University Hospital, and UZ Leuven (University Hospitals Leuven).