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The global medical tourism market was worth US$ 17.69 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach US$ 48.66 billion by 2032, at an estimated CAGR of 11.9% between 2024 and 2032.
During the past decade, the medical tourism market has exploded in growth. With millions of people traveling each year for medical procedures, the demand for this type of healthcare has skyrocketed. Some reasons include cost savings, access to specialized treatments only available outside of a person's home country, and faster waiting periods. Our research shows that there are around 14-16 million people who travel internationally each year for medical care purposes alone! This statistic clearly highlights just how much individuals currently rely on this industry. And it’s not just one or two countries that lead this trend — Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Mexico are some of the top locations where these surgeries or checkups take place. Thailand alone attracts more than one million newcomers every single year, generating more than $330 million in revenue from them.
And then we have India which sees nearly two and half a million foreign patients coming through their doors annually just to receive necessary health examinations or procedures that they can’t get done at their home country. Over the span of several years the Indian sector brought in more than $7.4 billion. For instance: operations performed at leading hospitals around the world can be up to 80% cheaper versus getting them done within America. A coronary bypass surgery might cost a patient somewhere above $123,000 in the states but drop down to below $15,000 when executed overseas.
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Driver: Escalating Demand for Cosmetic Procedures—A Catalyst for Medical Tourism Market Growth
In terms of what patients typically come out looking for? Studies indicate that dental work is usually number one followed by cosmetic surgery and then orthopedic procedures such as knee replacements. While no matter which way you look at it, the global medical tourism market is set to grow at a rapid rate in the following years. The market is currently in the midst of a surge where more individuals are starting to worry about their physical appearance. This isn’t just hitting one age group or gender, it’s across all demographics. Today, South Korea has become the plastic surgery capital of the world! With over one million people flying there annually to get the treatment done and this number makes up almost a quarter of their medical tourism. As per Astute Analytica’s recent survey, by focusing on quality and only offering what customers want, clinics around the globe have been able to achieve 98% satisfaction rates.
Brazil, another hotspot, attracts around 200,000 international patients each year to its cosmetic surgery industry, which it has built up a reputation for high-quality and innovative procedures. Meanwhile in Mexico, where vast numbers of North American medical tourists go, about 70% of its medical tourism procedures are performed for cosmetic surgeries in the global medical tourism market. The significant demand from close proximity to the US makes sense here. For example, a rhinoplasty that could cost more than $5,000 stateside could be as little as $2,500k in Mexico. Moreover, the global cosmetic surgery market is set to exceed $67 billion by 2026 with medical tourism being a key growth contributor; pointing towards the sector’s robust future.
Trend: Integrating Wellness and Medical Tourism
This type of convergence represents a transformative trend in the global medical tourism market because research shows that people want comprehensive experiences that give them both physical and mental well-being. It then drives benefits to locations focusing on integrated services so they have an economic incentive to keep doing this. Thailand and India are two countries at the frontlines of this trend; blending old practices with new ones to create unique value for health-conscious tourists. This holistic approach sees Thailand welcome over 1.2 million wellness tourists annually who contribute significantly to its $18bn medical tourism industry.
India's wellness sector roots itself in Ayurvedic and yoga practices then brings in about two million international visitors each year who seek body rejuvenation and spiritual growth.
Challenge of Ethical Concerns Could Slow Down Momentum
If not navigated correctly, ethical concerns can damper any plans made in the medical tourism market once addressed by policy makers or potential customers alike. Such issues include exploiting healthcare resources, unequal access to care among different groups of people locally and compromised standards due to money saving measures respectively. Reports state that some hotspots’ local populations have been affected by their access to healthcare facilities because bigger percentages of allocated resources have been diverted to medical tourists. Some countries have more than 30% of their healthcare resources directed at international patients and this elongates wait times for locals.
Patient protection laws are another concern due to how they differ across borders. These discrepancies put international patients at risk by not holding the same standards as ones they’re used to. With a global average of 5%, some countries have reported post-surgery complications rates as high as 20% among medical tourists. Lastly, transparency issues plague the market with some potential customers finding it difficult to trust that what they want is being provided since different regions may hide success rates or important aftercare information.
By Treatment Type
By treatment type, the global medical tourism market is led by oncology treatments, which accounted for over 24.5% of the market in 2023 and is set to grow at a CAGR of 14.4% from 2024 to 2032. The segment’s growth can be attributed to the pressing need for specialized cancer care and growing demand for advanced treatments such as proton therapy and immunotherapy, which are often not widely available or prohibitively expensive in patients’ home countries. Top destinations for oncology treatments like India and Mexico have proven their capabilities to treat both local and international patients with cutting-edge technology at cost-effective pricing.
The financial aspect also plays a significant role in the global medical tourism market, with treatments costing between 20-50% less than in Western countries. Moreover, patient satisfaction rates exceeding 85% in top medical tourism destinations emphasize the quality of care received. This unique combination of factors cements the oncology treatment segment’s position as the fastest-growing within the medical tourism market and underscores its role in democratizing access to vital cancer care for a global patient population. Following are some of the key highlights
By Service Providers
Private hospitals account for an overwhelming majority (92.9%) within the global medical tourism market due to the attractive combination of high-quality care, advanced medical technologies, and cost savings that range from 30% to 80% when compared to U.S. prices. It is also projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1%. As healthcare continues its trend towards globalization, private hospitals are becoming increasingly popular due to both their affordable costs and the comprehensive care packages they often provide. Hospitals have been providing these packaged services which include pre-operative as well as post-operative accommodations—significantly outperforming public hospitals in this regard with satisfaction rates consistently surpassing 90%. This shift highlights how patients today are more concerned with access as well as affordability rather than location when it comes to their treatments. Following are some of the key findings in line with high demand for private hospitals in medical tourism
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North America currently dominates the worldwide medical tourism market with more than 40% revenue share, thanks in large part to the United States’ clinical and technological superiority over other countries. The U.S. alone attracts more than 1.4 million medical tourists per year by leveraging its appeal as a mecca for cutting-edge treatments and top-tier professionals. The region accumulates well over $45 billion in revenue from healthcare provided to foreign visitors, underscoring its economic weight within the medical tourism trade. In addition, North America is home to over 15,000 Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited clinics and hospitals — a key factor in generating trust among patients who are considering traveling abroad for procedures. Medical tourists will also save up to two-thirds when getting treatment within North America rather than back home – even if they’re insured or live in another high-income country. In fact, there’s been a quarter uptick in patient inflow who seek cardiovascular or orthopedic surgeries in this area because it specializes in those types of procedures.
As per recent report by Astute Analytica on the global medical tourism market, satisfaction rates at U.S.-based postoperative care and recovery facilities have averaged above 90%, but JCI-accredited hospitals outside the country are no slouches either when it comes to making sure customers are happy after leaving the operating room. Incorporating telemedicine into long-term patient care post-departure has improved medical tourists’ experiences within the market. And North America’s partnerships with insurance providers around the world guarantee that customers get a smooth experience, further bolstering its position as a global healthcare hub.
The Asia Pacific medical tourism market is set to expand its slice of pie at an average CAGR of of 14%, according to our research. The main selling point for this corner of the world is providing high-quality care at low costs, which pulls in patients from all walks of life. Thailand, India and Singapore are among countries that play key roles in pushing the region up into being a powerhouse destination for people who want procedures done — or need treatment for ailments they’re already suffering from. Although its healthcare system isn’t as advanced as some others on this list, Thailand has been attracting more than 1.2 million medical tourists per year and earning over $330 million in revenue. Meanwhile, India will have seen a cumulative annual jump of 20% in patients coming for treatment by next year as cardiology and orthopedic surgeries charge fees up to six times lower than those typically charged by Western institutions. As of now, there are more than 220 JCI-accredited hospitals in Asia Pacific countries combined, offering average savings on various types of procedures between 30% and 80% compared with home country prices. It should be noted that hospitality and tourism sectors have teamed up with healthcare infrastructure to offer medical tourists wellness options after their treatments are complete. Our Study suggests that the Asia Pacific has recorded patient satisfaction rates of over 85%, signaling the excellent quality of care and services. The use of English in patient care and marketing has made it easier for international patients to get treated, giving them less barriers. They have also strategically used digital marketing and patient testimonial campaigns to build a great reputation, boosting growth even more for the global medical tourism market.
Top Players in the Global Medical Tourism Market
Market Segmentation Overview:
By Treatment Type
By Service Provider
|Market Size Value in 2023
|US$ 17.69 Bn
|Expected Revenue in 2032
|US$ 48.66 Bn
|Value (USD Bn)
|By Treatment Type, By Service Provider, By Region
|Fortis Healthcare Ltd., Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited, KPJ Healthcare Behard, Klinikum Medical Link, Booking.com, Agoda, Lastminute.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Bookmundi, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, Marriott International, Jin Jiang, Hilton Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., Accor Group, Huazhu Hotels Group, Other Prominent Players
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