Emerging Countries: The Next Hub for Medical Tourism

There has been a global surge of patient pool and healthcare professionals coupled with technological enhancements, which has propelled the growth of the medical tourism market. Medical tourism happens when the consumers travel across international borders to obtain some form of medical treatment at a more affordable price. Frail reimbursement policies and expensive treatments have pressed people in many regions to exploit cost-effective methods of medical treatments.Medical Tourism

South East Asian counties like India, China, Thailand, and Latin American countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina are being vied as next destination for medical treatments. Low cost of treatments with a chance to visit new tourist destinations has boosted the growth of medical tourism.

Superior infrastructure, better affordability, accessibility, and easy availability of information through media, telecommunication, and internet access has created a huge interest from citizens of developed countries to explore medical tourism as a potential option for the treatment of their diseases.

Floundering economies of the U.S. and Europe with minimal reimbursements on procedures have compelled their citizens to visit countries that provide frugal alternatives for dental and surgical procedures. Even though the recent ‘Obamacare’ policies have brought insurance cover to almost 32 million uninsured Americans, the problem of expensive procedures and a dearth of healthcare professionals still plagues the U.S. which implies an expanding market for medical tourism, at least from the U.S.

To capture this market, both the private and public business sectors and governments of developing nations have been instrumental in the promotion of medical tourism as a potentially lucrative source of foreign revenue.

The essential features influencing the growth of this market are low labor costs, rise in the aging population, and internationally accredited hospitals in the medical tourist regions.

Some essential factors hindering the growth are domestic policy changes, travel restrictions, political instability, and bilateral exchanges between the countries. Despite this, the market is expected to see substantial growth in the coming years.

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Preeti Wani
Hi I am Preeti Bagade, Research Analyst working with Europlat.Org. I have completed my MBA with Marketing as my specialization from University of Pune. The current work profile includes conducting market research (secondary and primary) and consulting projects for various sectors of Healthcare (pharmaceutical and medical devices) industry.

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