Global Medical Tourism Market - Segmented by Treatment Type and Geography - Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2018 - 2023)
The global medical tourism market was valued at USD 15.43 billion in 2017, and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period of 2018-2023. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of around 40% of the global market, whereas, North America was estimated to register the fastest CAGR over the forecast period.
Medical tourism refers to traveling to another country for obtaining medical treatment. It is a high-growth industry, driven by globalization and rising healthcare costs in developed countries. A study shows that in the United States, about 750,000 residents travel abroad for care, each year. A range of governments across the globe have taken up various initiatives, to stimulate and improve medical tourism in their respective countries, to improve patient quality care and boost the market. Many countries recorded significant economic development potential in the emergent field of medical tourism. Cosmetic surgery, dental care, elective surgery, fertility treatments, cardiovascular surgery, and genetic disorder treatments are the most preferred forms in this sector.
High Cost of Undergoing Medical Treatment
The cost of undergoing medical treatment in a developed country is very high. It is estimated that, although the treatments are of reliable quality, the procedures tend to be on the expensive side. In addition, the major healthcare products are also quite extravagantly priced. Countries in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and South America provide high-quality medical services at a much lower rate, compared to the developed economies. There are companies that cater to all the medical and non-medical needs of tourists, during their travel.
In addition, the availability of the latest medical technologies and a growing compliance on international quality standards drive this market. The use of English as the main working language, solves the problem of communication and patient satisfaction, and adds to the growth of this market. Health insurance portability, advertising, and marketing are other factors that augment the fast-paced growth of the medical tourism industry.
Issues with Patient Follow Up and Post-procedure Complications
Medical procedures, such as heart surgeries and joint replacements, sometimes require patients to follow up for longer periods of time. These follow ups can last for three to six months. However, in the case of medical tourists, they leave for their home country as soon as they are deemed fit for travel. Therefore, follow up mostly happens through online consulting. Online consulting is not always as effective as in-person consulting and can lead to unintentional skipping of important points.
Some ethical concerns regarding medical tourism, like differentiating between the standards of treatment for foreigners and the locals, can hamper the market. In addition, the people from developed countries or other places are prone to diseases/infections in the host country. All these factors are anticipated to restrict the market’s growth.
Asia-Pacific to dominate the market
The global medical tourism industry has been segmented based on treatment type (cosmetic treatment, dental treatment, cardiovascular treatment, orthopedics treatment, bariatric surgery, fertility treatment, ophthalmic treatment, and other treatments) and geography. By geography, it has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and South America.
Asia-Pacific has the highest share in the market and accounted for around 40% of the global market, in 2017. Owing to increase in accessibility and availability of healthcare facilities and rise in healthcare and research expenditure, Asia-Pacific has a high market potential for the growth of the medical tourism market. This region is anticipated to experience rapid market expansion, due to economic development.
The key developments in the market are