Medical tourism holds lot of promise but is an emerging market

Published on : Friday, March 10, 2017

medical tourismWith rising healthcare costs in countries like the US and poor quality hospitals and doctors in other regions, medical tourism is thriving; however, many travel brands remain uncertain about how to address and market medical tourism. According to Josef Woodman, the CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, an organization that connects travelers to accredited hospitals, doctors, and specialists around the world, the global medical tourism market ranges from $40 to $60 billion with 12 to 14 million travelers taking medical trips each year for treatments like dental cleanings, cancer treatment and reproductive health.

Globally, dental treatments comprise some of the most common reasons for medical tourism and more females travel for getting medical treatment than males. Woodman says that around 99% of medical travel involves a diagnosis a traveler already received before making a trip. Indonesia is likely the largest outbound medical travel market. Bus lines from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to local hospitals are part of daily life in Malaysia’s capital city mainly because of medical travelers from Indonesia. China is also one of the largest medical tourism markets as many Chinese travelers look to Thailand and other Southeast Asian destinations for better healthcare. In the U.S., some 50% of medical travel trips are to Mexico for dental care and 15% for cosmetic procedures, since healthcare costs in the U.S. are high, although quality is supreme.

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