Medical Tourism Industry is Driven by Asia

Medical tourism in Asia is a rapidly growing industry. Rising healthcare costs, long wait times, an ageing population, and increasing demand for cosmetic and dental surgery not covered by insurance in developed countries, coupled with the availability of high quality, low cost medical services in developing countries are the key factors driving medical tourism market globally. Governments in different countries are also backing the industry by dedicating resources to raise the countries’ profile to boost the sector in their respective countries.

The global Medical Tourism Report: 2014 Edition research ( ) reveals that although the demand for medical tourism is fundamentally driven by cost and quality considerations relative to domestic treatment options, the choice of destination depends on many factors, including proximity, brand value, and the range of available healthcare services. The Asian medical tourism industry has been growing at a double-digit growth rate for the past few years and the top three medical tourism markets in Asia are Thailand, Singapore and India. India and Thailand are the two countries who definitely have an edge over their counterparts both in terms of the number of hospitals and the cost advantage. While Thailand and India are shaping up to be the main beneficiaries, Singapore has long been supplier of medical services in neighboring countries.

Companies like Bumrungrad Hospital Public Company Limited, IHH Healthcare Berhad, Raffles Medical Group, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services and KPJ Healthcare Berhad will benefit in the years ahead.

Medical treatment abroad, also called ‘medical tourism’, is a booming international industry where patients seek healthcare services from sources outside their country. Usually every type of medical treatment is available abroad with over 50 countries identifying as destinations in medical tourism. Medical tourism is a high-value sector that generates revenue for multiple industries. Given the lucrative potential fees, more governments are dedicating resources to boost the sector in their respective countries.

Medical tourists are presently traveling to faraway countries for cosmetic surgery, dental procedures, bariatric surgery, assisted reproductive technology, ophthalmologic care, orthopaedic surgery, cardiac surgery, organ and cellular transplantation, gender reassignment procedures, and even executive health evaluations.

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