The global Medical Tourism market size is undoubtedly important. According to the Medical Tourism Association, about 14 million people in the world travel to other countries in search of medical care annually. It is an activity worth between 50 and 70 thousand million dollars.
Currently, Thailand is the top destination for Medical Tourism, receiving one million 200 thousand visitors. It is followed by Mexico, which annually receives a million tourists who seek health services. Most of them are Canadians and Americans. Mexico surpasses the United States, which is in third place, receiving 800 thousand people. After these three nations, another million 380 thousand tourists are distributed among Singapore, India, Brazil, Turkey, and Taiwan, according to statistics of Patients Beyond Borders.
It would be very easy to think that all medical tourists travel abroad because they seek fast and less expensive medical care. However, data from a McKinsey and Company report indicates otherwise. The report states that 40% of these patients seek advanced technology procedures performed by highly trained personnel. About 32% of the people state that they seek better and more human medical care, attention, and treatment. 15% of the patients go abroad searching for an immediate medical service without long waiting periods. The remaining 13% still consider the lower economic cost as their primary reason for medical travel.
Due to the proximity, Americans prefer travelling to Mexico, Costa Rica, or Panama to receive dental services or cosmetic surgeries. Southeast Asia and India are usually chosen for their orthopedics and cardiovascular services, as they are known for their high quality in medical care and for having a significant number of hospitals and doctors who are accredited in the United States.
Potential Cost Savings
Satisfied medical tourists can save from 25% to 75% of the costs. Depending on the type of medical service they require, the savings amount can reach up to 90%. This varies depending on the country and the type of procedure that is performed. Below is important statistical data provided by Patients Beyond Borders:
Medical services in Panama cost between 40% and 70% less than in the United States or Canada.
In Hungary, you can save from 40% to 50% of the cost in dentistry and cosmetic surgeries.
Mexico is the favorite destination for Americans, offering from 25% to 35% in medical services savings. There are nine hospitals certified by the Joint Commission International.
India provides health care services at a cost 20% lower than in the United States. In Thailand, the cost is 30% less.
Singapore has 13 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International, with services costing 35% less than in North America.
In recent years, Medical Tourism has gained popularity within highly industrialized countries. Every year, the number of patients who travel to different countries seeking treatments and medical procedures increases. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that the world’s number of medical tourists has reached 50 million, and an annual increase of 25% is expected in the next decade.