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Medical Tourism Market Overview
The medical tourism market is projected to experience robust growth in the coming years, primarily due to the high healthcare costs in developed countries, bettering healthcare infrastructure in emerging economies, increasing awareness on the subject, rising compliance with international surgery standards, reducing overseas airfares, and government support for the sector.
Orthopedic treatment, dental treatment, cardiovascular treatment, cosmetic treatment, general treatment, fertility treatment, and oncological treatment are the various purposes for which people travel out of their home country. Historically, the medical tourism market has been dominated by cosmetic treatment, which is generally costly and not included in insurance plans. This is why, people visit emerging economies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to get aesthetic procedures at much lower rates than developed countries.
In the coming years, oncology treatment would grow the fastest in the medical tourism market, because of a steady rise in the prevalence of cancer across the world. According to the World Health Organization, the disease was responsible for 9.6 million deaths in 2018, becoming the second largest cause of global mortality. Similarly, the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. estimated the number of new cancer cases in the country, for 2018, at 1,735,350 and associated deaths at 609,640. Several developed countries have exorbitant cancer treatment costs, while a lot of underdeveloped countries lack facilities altogether or have substandard facilities.
APAC is expected to be a lucrative region, considering the future medical tourism market growth. Several countries here have less stringent regulations regarding surgical procedures, compared to Western nations, and they also focus strongly on promoting themselves to tourists, including those coming for healthcare services. In the regional industry, Malaysia and India are expected to experience fast progress, due to their high treatment standards and low treatment costs, improving healthcare infrastructure, presence of a large number of skilled practitioners, technologically advanced disease management methods, and government initiatives to offer better healthcare.
Medical Tourism Market Dynamics
The high cost of surgeries in developed countries is a key reason for the prosperity of the medical tourism market. Even though a lot of procedures are covered in insurance policies, they often still end up costing a lot for patients. On the contrary, the expenditure for cosmetic treatments is generally not reimbursed by insurers, as such procedures are considered elective and people’s life doesn’t always depend on them. This is why an increasing number of people are traveling to emerging economies to get treatments at significantly lower costs.
As per estimates, certain procedures cost up to 80% less in developing nations compared to developed nations. The primary reason behind this is the low labor cost in such countries, which allows hospitals and other healthcare centers to hire skilled professionals at a comparatively lower salary. As a result, the operational expenditure for healthcare firms in developing countries is lower than in Western nations. This leads to cost-effective treatment for patients, which drives the medical tourism market.
Medical Tourism Market Competitive Landscape
Asian Heart Institute, Apollo Hospital Enterprise Limited, Min-Sheng General Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Bumrungrad International Hospital, Fortis Health Ltd., Min-Sheng General Hospital, Bangkok Hospital Medical Center, Samitivej Sukhumvit, Prince Court Medical Center, and Raffles Medical Group are the major healthcare providers operating in the medical tourism market.