Medical Tourism Market | Exclusive Report on Revenue and Growth Factors to 2031

The global medical tourism market was valued at US$10.4 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 13.0% from 2022 to 2031. The global medical tourism market is expected to reach more than US$72.8 billion by the end of 2031.

Market launch for medical tourism

Medical tourism is defined as the travel of patients from their home country to various destinations for medical treatment. These services include advanced treatments such as cardiac surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery and dental care, or elective treatments such as cosmetic surgery or even routine health checks. According to a medical tourism market research, the increase in healthcare spending in developed countries and the availability of inexpensive treatments in developing countries have made medical tourism an emerging industry. In addition, the availability of medical tourism insurance is driving the market. High treatment costs in developed countries are a major factor in patient migration to other countries.

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High quality treatment at low cost to increase global medical tourism market

Quality treatment can be obtained at a lower cost in developing countries like Thailand and Malaysia than in developed countries. Despite the low cost of treatment in developing countries, the quality of the procedure is not compromised due to the availability of resources at a relatively lower cost. This leads to an influx of people seeking healthcare services in these countries. For example, an angioplasty procedure costs about $55,000 to $57,000 for one person in the United States, compared to about $2,500 to $3,500 in Malaysia. People travel from the US to Thailand, Singapore, India and Malaysia for medical treatment, saving 55% to 70% on their treatment costs. The cost of dental treatment in India is 60% to 80% lower than in the US and UK. According to DentaVacation, a unit of the US-based Medical Tourism Corporation, the cost of dental fillings in the US starts at $150. while it only costs $45 in Thailand, $40 in Turkey and $20 in India. Therefore, dental implant tourism is gaining importance in developing countries like India and Thailand.

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People often travel to other countries for medical procedures such as breast augmentation and liposuction. Others choose to have excess skin removed. Several people seek additional elective treatments, such as LASIK eye surgery or dental surgery, which are not covered by insurance policies in the West and can be prohibitively expensive in some countries. Therefore, the improvement of healthcare infrastructure and access to quality healthcare services at affordable prices are likely to propel the global market in the near future.

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Long waiting time is driving the global medical tourism market

Long waiting times for an appointment with a specialist for treatment or advice are a major concern for patients and are considered a key driver for outsourcing. Patients are forced to wait for healthcare services due to reasons such as lack of medical equipment, staff shortages or inefficient management. In addition, waiting too long can lead to health problems. Patients in developed countries such as the UK, France, Norway, Sweden and Canada do not have timely access to medical services. Therefore, they may choose to travel to other destinations for medical services.

The average waiting time in Canada for patients undergoing cataract surgery, joint replacement surgery, and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is 112 days, 182 days, and 71 days, respectively. If a person needs to undergo a routine health check, the minimum waiting time is 32 days. Long waiting times pose a significant challenge for patients; Therefore, they prefer to travel abroad for timely surgery.

Increase in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases that drive the cardiac segment

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In terms of the type of procedure, the cardiac segment had the largest share of the global medical tourism market in 2021. This is due to the increasing incidence of cardiovascular disease worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death, with an estimated 17.9 billion people suffering from CVDs worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure was responsible for more than half a million deaths in the United States in 2019.

The cosmetic surgery segment is expected to grow at a rapid rate during the forecast period. A large percentage of the population opts for cosmetic surgery to improve appearance and boost self-confidence. The increasing influence of aesthetics, influenced by the media’s portrayal of unattainable standards of beauty, is expected to be a major driver for the cosmetic surgery segment. In addition, technical improvements in the segment have led to an increasing demand for aesthetic procedures.

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Regional analysis of the medical tourism market

Asia Pacific dominated the global medical tourism market with a share of more than 75% in 2021. The market in the region is extremely competitive due to the presence of technologically advanced medical specialties, less stringent government regulations and attractive locations. Thailand and India are internationally recognized for quality medical services and receive patients from all over the world. Renowned for its healthcare infrastructure, Singapore receives patients mainly for complex medical procedures.

According to the Medical Tourism Market Forecast, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.2% in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from 2022 to 2031. The economic growth in the countries in EMEA and the increase in government spending on advanced healthcare facilities are expected to drive the market in EMEA in the near future. Turkey has emerged as a potential medical service provider and is recognized as a competitive healthcare destination. The global economic crisis in healthcare has played a key role in boosting Turkey’s healthcare and medical tourism industry. The country’s strategic geographic location offers the added advantage of being able to treat patients from all over the world. Turkey is centrally located between Europe and the USA; Therefore, medical tourists find it convenient to travel to the country. In addition, the increasing demand for cosmetic surgery is driving the medical tourism market in Turkey.

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Countries in Latin America such as Brazil and Mexico attract the most patients from the US due to geographic proximity and cultural similarities.

Analysis of the major players in the global medical tourism market

Fortis Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bangkok Chain Hospital Public Company Limited, Hamad Medical Corporation, Bumrungrad International Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Raffles Medical Group and Jordan Hospital are the leading healthcare providers operating in the global medical tourism market. Medical tourism companies leverage new technologies and provide improved healthcare services through strategic initiatives and collaborations.

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