Over the years, the health tourism industry has grown significantly. It has been growing by twenty five percent (25%) per year. Furthermore, the growth rate of medical tourism globally is expected to increase even more over the next few years. Let’s take a look at the top 7 medical tourism facts and figures and why medical tourism is growing, and why it might be the right choice for you:
1. Cost of Medical Care
20 years back, it seemed unlikely that citizens from the first world countries would travel to Asia for medical treatment, typically because of the most advanced healthcare system that countries like the US and UK had. However, things are different today because of the skyrocketing medical costs which make it difficult for UK, Europe and US citizens to get medical treatments locally. Even those with health insurance choose to travel elsewhere because it’s more affordable to get medical treatments internationally, especially for procedures like cosmetic and dental surgeries which can be easily performed at a fraction of the cost. For example, hip replacement surgery cost $50,000 in the United States while $14,900 USD in Britain, $13,600 USD in Germany. However, the same procedure would cost around $7,000 USD in India and approximately $14,000 USD in Korea. Hip replacement surgery is much cheaper in India and Korea.
2. Quality Care
Besides affordability, another reason for the massive popularity of health tourism is the high quality of care that patients receive in hospitals and clinics. Hospitals are staffed with doctors who have studied and acquired training from countries like the UK, France, Germany and US, bringing their expertise back home to share and practice. Additionally, to ensure top quality care in hospitals, the local governments of health tourism destinations have started to enforce quality and patient safety standards, through a system of accreditation from organizations like JCI and ISO.
Another reason why medical tourism is expected to grow and flourish in the upcoming years is because of the availability factor. Some procedures like stem cell therapy and certain types of heart valve transplantation are still considered experimental making them ineligible for medical insurance coverage European countries and the US. However, these procedures are readily available internationally and that too, at affordable prices.
4. Great Convenience
Medical tourism makes life changing surgeries only a flight away. The ease of travel and low airfares provide people unmatched convenience of acquiring the treatment they desire with ease.
5. Travel Opportunities
Through the primary motivation to travel internationally is medical treatment for customers, it also offers opportunity for medical tourists to visit exotic destinations. Medical tourists can enjoy a relaxing recovery in a beautiful resort setting after the surgery or treatment and if the surgeon allows patients to move, they can enjoy outdoor attractions too.
6. No Long Waiting List
Getting treatment abroad spares from long waiting lists! You can easily book your treatment outside your country and get it immediately without having to wait in long lines and having to reschedule your treatment.
7. Excellent Customer Service
Countries like India and Mexico are going to great lengths to attract patients. In addition to highly-trained doctors, they go the extra mile to make patients & their families comfortable such as offering first-rate accommodation, and transportation too. By looking at all these reasons, we can confidently say that health tourism is most likely to grow and become even more popular is the next few years.
Yes, it’s true that medical tourism has seen a boom recently but assuming that it is new is absolutely false. The long history of traveling for medical treatments can be traced back from ancient times. For example, the Ancients Greeks used to travel a great distance to Saronic Gulf, also known as Epidauria. This territory was recognized as the sanctuary of Asklepios, the healing god. It had the power to cure diseases and illness.
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