The latest trends in Medical tourism you must watch out for
One of the fastest growing segments in the healthcare industry globally; medical tourism has evolved drastically thanks to the changing trends. It has grown to be a multi-billion dollar industry due to increased demand for cost-effective yet high quality, advanced treatments available abroad. The desire to visit a new place and enjoy the sights while being treated has boosted the growth of medical tourism. Treatments for cardiovascular ailments, cancer, orthopedic procedures, dentistry, reproductive problems, cosmetic surgery, complete health screening including scans, ultrasound etc are available at very cheap rates in countries which cater to medical tourists. Apart from affordability, here are some of the latest trends in Medical tourism which will influence this industry in the near future:
5 latest trends in Medical tourism
More countries providing affordable healthcare
India, China and Singapore are the leaders in medical tourism segment in Asia. Thailand and Malaysia are also providing good healthcare and many tourists club their medical treatments while travelling to these countries. Improved healthcare and trained doctors who can match the caliber of doctors in Western countries have boosted the interest of patients from western countries in healthcare treatments in countries like India.
But other countries such as South Africa, Egypt, Chile, Brazil and Ecuador too are slowly becoming desired medical tourism countries too. Thus, one of the medical tourism trends to watch out for, which might see a distribution of the international healthcare tourism market, is the steady growth of new countries providing affordable healthcare.
The number of medical procedures being offered has increased manifold. Apart from cardiology, dermatology and or dentistry treatments which were the most sought after procedures, there are other complex, specialized treatments being offered. Angioplasty, dermabrasion, bariatric surgery, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and cosmetic surgery procedures are on offer too. Travelling for IVF treatments which are extremely costly in the US and other western countries is one of the latest trends in medical tourism. Diagnostic tests and cosmetic procedures, Lasik surgery, removing excess skin, liposuction etc are not covered by insurance which is why many patients are travelling abroad to be treated, as the cost is reduced by approximately 70%.
Growth of ‘health cities’
The lucrative nature of the medical tourism sector has spurred huge investments from the private sector. This has led to the creation of ‘health cities’ in many parts of the world. This is one of the medical tourism trends to watch out for, as these ‘health cities’ are proving to be very attractive to medical tourists. Chennai and Dubai are health cities which people from all over the world are choosing as their preferred healthcare destinations. The ‘health cities’ have super-specialty and multi-specialty healthcare facilities which cater to a huge number of simple and complex procedures. UAE, Taiwan and Greece are emerging as medical tourist destinations as well, due to the beautiful scenery and quality services.
One of the latest trends in Medical tourism is the shift in the physician and patient demographics due to three major reasons. One is that a good number of physicians in USA will retire and this will create a void in the number of physicians and the waiting time to receive treatment will increase. Thus, patients from the US are going to look for treatment abroad.
Another factor is that the increase in aging population in Canada, New Zealand, USA, Europe and Australia will also increase the demand for medical tourism. This is because aged and elderly people need quality healthcare which is also affordable, as they have to make their savings last longer. Patients aged 45-70 sometimes need emergency healthcare, which government sponsored healthcare systems like the NHS, may take time to provide.
On the other hand, younger people are also enthusiastically participating in medical tourism, especially for IVF treatments, cosmetic and dental procedures etc. They are also more willing to experiment in new, exotic, medical destinations leading to the creation of many new medical tourism hubs. The change in patient demographic is thus one of the latest trends in medical tourism.
Surge in number of skilled professionals
Healthcare facilities are taking utmost care to provide the latest training to their doctors, translators, surgeons, physiotherapists etc. This has led to the rise of highly skilled professionals who can provide excellent healthcare.The latest trends in Medical tourism prove that this industry is only going to expand further in the future. Healthcare has become a valuable service as well as an investment which pays rich dividends, leading to creation of many new medical tourism destinations.