Tour operator, cruise lines foraying into medical tourism

Published on : Thursday, February 14, 2013

With medical tourism growing fast at annual growth rate of about 20% per year, a diverse mix of suppliers from the tourism and medical industries have already seen the potential of this niche market and have developed offers and services in recent years, Professor Helmut Wachowiak, of the International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef (IUBH), near Bonn, Germany pointed out at Pisa forum.

There are numerous medical-based agencies that focus mostly on arranging the medical treatment but also offer travel, accommodation and additional services. There is a particularly large group of such ‘facilitators’ in the USA but also various organisations in European markets such as the UK and Germany.

Even some hospitals have specialised in treating foreign patients. A famous example is Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, where more than 400,000 of the one million annual patients are from other countries.

Tour operators have also moved into this lucrative niche market and now offer health and medical holidays for patients and accompanying persons. Prominent examples include Med Journeys (USA), The Medical Tourist Company (UK) and Dr Holiday (Germany).

Even cruise lines are getting into the business by offering ‘dialysis at sea’ so that dialysis patients can take cruises with their families.

Source:- medical travel

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