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Medical Tourism, also known as medical travel, surgical tourism or health tourism is promoted by governments of different countries to promote exceptional healthcare services provided by them. The global medical tourism market is among the fastest-growing and also the most profitable in the healthcare sector. Certain factors such as the emphasis on advanced treatment within minimal costs, better patient experience and shortage of expertise at home location are responsible for growing popularity of medical tourism globally. According to Global Healthcare Resources, each year, an estimated 11 million patients travel for medical care which accounts for an estimated 3.0-4.0% of the global population.
Availability of better treatment alternatives within minimal costs, superior quality offered by destination hospitals and better patient comfort are significant factors driving the growth of the global medical tourism market. Also, growing demand for tailored medical services, advanced medical supervision and growing awareness amongst patients due to medical tourism promotional activities by governments as well as healthcare institutions are expected to boost the demand for medical tourism during the forecast period.
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However, reported cases of slow response time and poor quality outcomes are restraining factors for the growth of global medical tourism market. According to research conducted by Medical Tourism Association, in 2015, an estimated 44.9% of medical tourists reported slow response time by hospital while an estimated 14.3% reported poor quality outcomes. Also, lack of network & transport infrastructure in destination nations, as well as language barriers are hampering the growth of the global medical tourism market.
Some of the major companies that are present in the global medical tourism market are Bumrungrad International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Bangkok Chain Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited; Fortis Healthcare Limited; Asian Heart Institute; Asklepios Kliniken GmbH and others.
· Orthopedic surgery
· North America (USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of Middle East & Africa)
In 2018, cosmetology dominated the global medical tourism market due increasing demand for cosmetic surgeries and procedures globally, along with rising number of cosmetic services provided by players in U.S., and Brazil.
North America dominated the global medical tourism market in 2018 owing to aging population, growing emphasis on better quality treatment in lower costs and better patient experience. According to research conducted by Medical Tourism Association, an estimated 26.0% of medical tourists are American. Similarly, an estimated 40.0% of medical tourists are travelling to the U.S. for medical care, followed by an estimated 16.0% to Germany and an estimated 12.0% to Turkey. Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa also hold huge potential for growth of the global medical tourism market owing to minimal treatment costs, better patient experience and rising healthcare infrastructure. According to World Health Organization, an estimated 1.5 million medical travelers visits Thailand each year.
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