Medical tourism can be broadly defined as travel across international borders with the purpose of availing medical treatment of some form, which may or may not be available in the travelers’ home country. This treatment may include a wide array of medical services; however, the most frequently availed services include dental care, cosmetic surgery, elective surgery, and fertility treatment. The motives for making the travel could be one or more among the following major factors:
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- High cost or affordability of medical services including the one the customer needs to avail.
- Non-availability or low quality of the necessary treatment due to lack of healthcare infrastructure or skilled service providers.
- Less waiting time for the available treatment such as organ transplant.
Medical tourism includes people who travel to a different place to receive treatment for a disease, an ailment, a condition, or to undergo a cosmetic procedure, and who are seeking lower cost, higher quality, different or better access to care than what they could receive at home.
The medical tourism market encompasses a large and broad number of categories of travelers. However, for the purpose of this study, we have limited the scope to patients travelling across international borders to avail critical or less critical but necessary treatment. We have excluded out-patient single day procedures, aesthetic, cosmetic and dental treatment medical tourism within international borders.
The report highlights the global medical tourism market in accordance with the treatment type and geography. Based on treatment type, the market is categorized into cosmetic, dental, cardiovascular, orthopedic, neurological, cancer, fertility, and other general treatments.
The report also provides the revenue generated from medical tourism segmented by geography and the key countries that attract patients to travel to the destinations in order to avail medical services.
To provide a detailed market assessment, this study also considers the government regulations, reimbursement scenario in developed as well as developing regions and the potential impact of medical tourism on the healthcare system.
Major destinations for medical tourism include Thailand, India, South Korea, Barbados, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Singapore, Hong Kong, Israel, Iran, South Africa, France, Germany, Turkey, and the UK among others. Most of these destinations offer specialized treatment for specific medical conditions. For instance, Barbados is known for fertility treatment services while Singapore is famous for stem cell treatment and cancer treatment.
Medical tourism is among the major revenue generators for developing nations such as India, South Africa, Thailand, and Mexico. These destinations offer a variety of good quality medical services at a relatively low price when compared to developed nations. Medical tourism is being supported by the respective governments of popular medical tourism destinations, such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea, through subsidies on infrastructure development, relaxed visa regulations for patients & their travel partners, and supportive legal issues resolution. For instance, in a bid to promote medical tourism in the country, Thailand’s Ministry of Interior decided to allow an extended stay of 90 days, without visa, to the medical tourists from the six GCC countries in 2011.
Developed nations such as the U.S., Japan, UK, Germany, and France offer highly advanced specialty treatments. Patients travel to such destinations when good quality care is not available in the local environment; however, cost of services is usually high in such destinations. Therefore, patients opt to visit developed nations only when the necessary treatment is not available in their locality or developing nations.
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Currently, a major flow of patients is towards Asia, especially Thailand, South Korea, India, and Malaysia. Most patients are from the U.S. and Europe who are looking for good quality services at affordable prices.
In the recent years, advertising and enhanced penetration of internet to the remote places has helped patients identify travel destinations that suit their need and budget for a particular medical service. Agencies, brokers, and international accreditation associations such as Joint Commission International (JCI) have helped medical service seekers to gain the necessary information and have provided a platform for medical service providers to convey their value offerings to the wide customer base, now from across the globe.
Chapter: 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Report description
1.2 Key benefits
1.3 Key market segments
1.4 Research methodology
1.4.1 Secondary research
1.4.2 Primary research
1.4.3 Analyst tools and models
Chapter: 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Chapter: 3 MARKET OVERVIEW
3.1 Market definition and scope
3.2 Current trends in medical tourism
3.3 Medical tourism: potential impact on healthcare system
3.4 Per capita impact on medical tourism
3.5 Patients seeking medical treatment overseas from China and Indonesia
3.6 Government regulations
3.7 Reimbursement scenario
3.7.1 Developed regions
3.7.2 Developing regions
3.8 Market dynamics
126.96.36.199 Affordable good quality care
188.8.131.52 Availability of quality care
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