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The medical tourism market valued more than US$ 10 billion in the year 2019. The concept of medical tourism offers a great advantage to patients who require immediate medical attention as it provides facilities that are not available in domestic hospitals. This provides efficient and on-time treatment. Medical tourism is gaining popularity in the medical market which attracts various policymakers and researchers. This fueled the market growth to the next level and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth of approximately 12% during the forecast period 2021-2027.
The rising demand for medical tourism due to visible increment in its applications has significantly contributed to the market share. These applications include Cardiovascular Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Oncology Treatment, Bariatric Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Dental Surgery, Fertility Treatment, and many others. As per the American College of Cardiology analysis, total prevalent cases of cardiovascular disease have reached more than 500 million in 2019 with 18.6 million reported deaths. This helps in the expansion of the medical tourism industry. Also, according to the American Cancer Society, 1,762,450 new cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths recorded in the United States in 2019.the
The medical tourism market is rising with high medical assistance costs in developed countries. For this reason, India has also become a hub of this business as the cost of medical treatment affordable when compared to some Southeast Asian countries, Western Europe and North America. According to a report by FICCI and IMS Health, out of the total global medical tourism market, India holds a share of approximately 18% and it estimated to reach more than 20% in the upcoming years. Various other countries also offer medical care at affordable prices along with advanced technologies like Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore, and Germany. The market can be segmented on the basis of the following segments.
By Application/Treatment type
Several other drivers that are contributing to the medical tourism market growth are a high probability of health insurance, better quality of service, and rising compliance with International Quality Standards. Moreover, government initiatives also resulted in the conversion of various countries into medical travel hubs. The UAE instigated medical tourism portals that provide ease of pre-booking of medical procedures access to a broad spectrum of tourism services such as contact with healthcare providers, appointments, visa issuance, and other activities. These drivers along with easy access and affordable prices to health services offered by medical tourism results in profitable deals in the market.
The surge in worldwide cancer cases makes it the dominant shareholder among the treatments of the medical tourism market. Cancer treatment is a lengthy and expensive affair; therefore, people tend to travel to different countries to seek affordable and advanced treatment. Among various purposes, patients and their caregivers go for better treatment at lower prices and tend to choose developing countries like India for treatment. Due to the same reason, outbound medical tourism holds the maximum share in the market.
The availability of advanced medical facilities and the latest technologies helped European countries to flourish in medical tourism. Also, it is easier to get approval for the launch and commercialization of medical devices in Europe as compared to the US. The Asia Pacific is expected to gain a hefty revenue in the forecast period by providing good quality care at a lower cost. Moreover, there is the possibility to reach this region via inexpensive flights. Also, the region provides ample information through online portals regarding the availability of medical services. At the country level, places like Turkey and Poland have excellent medical tourism facilities owing to the presence of numerous skilled surgeons and other healthcare professionals.
The smoothly running medical tourism market has to deal with different issues including ethical concerns and epidemic outbreaks. Moreover, several times people avoid this type of treatment due to issues that arise in inpatient follow-up details and post-procedure complications. Also, sometimes there are issues with transactions associated with the transfer of medical records.
There is intense competition in the market and players are involved with full zeal to provide such services which can make them better than others. Some of the major players are: