Medical Tourism Industry Overview
The global medical tourism market size was valued at USD 4.0 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.51% from 2022 to 2030.
Cost savings and additional benefits to visitors such as improved healthcare, cutting-edge technologies, breakthrough medicines, sophisticated devices, superior hospitality, and individualized care are some of the market’s major drivers.
During the forecast period, the market is projected to advance at a breakneck pace. The high cost of health services in home countries is the primary factor propelling the market growth. Additionally, the industry is being driven by rising demand for procedures that are not covered by insurance, such as gender reassignment surgeries, reproductive therapy, dental reconstruction, and aesthetic surgery.
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In developing countries such as Thailand and Malaysia, a high-quality treatment can be availed at a lower cost, than in developed countries. Even though the cost of treatments in developing countries is minimal, the quality of the procedure is not compromised due to the availability of resources at relatively lower costs. This factor results in the influx of people to avail of health services in these countries.
For instance, angioplasty procedure costs around USD 55,000 to USD 57,000 for an individual in the U.S., compared to around USD 2,500 to USD 3,500 in Malaysia. People travel from the U.S. and Europe to Thailand, Singapore, India, and Malaysia for medical treatments, saving about 55% to 70% of their treatment expenses.
In addition, emerging countries are known to have renowned surgeons, which is attracting millions of patients per year for various treatments. The prices of medical treatments in Malaysia are 30% to 40% lower than in countries such as the U.S., UK, and other European economies. A large population of foreigners seeks surgeries such as facial aesthetics procedures, dental implants, breast implants, facelifts, and liposuction in these countries. Improvements in healthcare infrastructure and the availability of high-quality healthcare services at affordable prices will drive the global market growth.
Furthermore, delaying necessary treatments might worsen pre-existing conditions, and the risks associated with delaying various surgeries can lead to other complications. For instance, delaying hip replacement surgery can lead to deterioration of the hip joint, limited mobility, and an increase in pain. In addition, the possibility of undergoing minimally invasive surgery, such as hip resurfacing, would no longer be an option for the patient.
Similarly, delaying a root canal treatment can lead to the destruction of the tooth, resulting in tooth loss. For instance, in developed countries like the UK and Canada, there is at least a 4-week wait between the time a patient makes an appointment and the time he/she can see the physician. Canada has the highest percentage of patients (36%) who have to wait 6 days or more for an appointment with a doctor. In the UK, waiting lists for non-essential surgeries, such as knee reconstructions, are up to 18 months, while in Australia and Canada, they can take up to 2 years.
Medical tourism has offered a method for people who cannot afford to wait for treatment in their native country, to avoid long queues by traveling overseas for treatment. Thus, to save time and avoid the aggravation of their medical issues, many patients rely on medical tourism and travel overseas to countries that offer procedures immediately. Furthermore, governments of many countries are focusing on promoting health and wellness tourism in their countries through various strategies. Strong government support is thus anticipated to favor market growth.
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Key Companies profiled:
Some prominent players in the global medical tourism market include:
- Bumrungrad International Hospital
- Samitivej Hospitals
- Bangkok Hospital Group
- Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd.
- Fortis Hospitals
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