Why Medical Tourism become popular

  • 04 Apr, 2023
  • 240
  • Medical tourism

Globalization has had a significant impact on medical tourism, enabling many people to access the best and most affordable medical care. According to the report, globalization reduces costs by 25% to 75% while improving health care by 75%. As a result, the trend toward globalization enables patients to get cutting-edge, low-cost care across international borders, fuelling the global health tourism industry. Additionally, the prevalence of diseases among the world's population is rising, and the availability of cutting-edge medical technologies for the treatment of a variety of chronic health issues is fuelling an increase in medical tourism around the world. The expansion of the market is anticipated to be largely fuelled by the support and assistance offered by the tourist departments and governments of the source and host destinations. People travel for medical care because it is expensive or there aren't enough options for them in their home country. People often choose medical tourism in order to receive prompt medical care and economical medical therapy. The expansion of medical tourism has been significantly accelerated by the overseas expansion of the healthcare sector. Global medical tourism industry growth has been fuelled by the simple cross-border flow of patients, healthcare professionals, medical technologies, and finance. A significant contributor to the surge in demand for medical tourism is the expanding knowledge of it and the increasing affordability of cutting-edge medical procedures.

According to studies, the worldwide medical tourism market is predicted to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.59% from 2023 to 2032, reaching a size of USD 115.6 billion in 2022 and USD 346.1 billion by that time. The industry for medical tourism is being boosted by the government's increasing investments in the construction of robust and cutting-edge healthcare facilities. In order to perform specific surgeries that call for specialized knowledge, healthcare practitioners engage in tourism activities. Favorable government regulations, growing spending on improving air connectivity and other forms of transportation, and government measures to promote medical tourism have all been shown to be significant drivers of industry growth. Additionally, readily available information on the costs, best locations for treatment, and ways to treat different diseases play a significant part in raising awareness of medical tourism.

Additionally, the growing medical tourism is a result of the inadequate supply of specialist medical professionals. The market is anticipated to grow as a result of elements like lower treatment costs in developing nations, accessibility to cutting-edge medical technology, increasing adherence to international quality standards and service, and promotion of medical tourism. The majority of nations have developed strategies to encourage digitalization in healthcare services, creating a demand for the best and most effective care regardless of the region; as a result, collaboration with foreign organizations improves, and as diagnostic and surgical procedures advance, so does interest in medical tourism. As a result, it is anticipated that the adoption of connectivity technologies, digital platforms, and telemedicine will fuel market growth.

According to the Medical Tourism Association, about 14 million people travel abroad each year for medical care. The cost of treating many types of diseases is minimal in some areas. These countries include Singapore, Dubai, India, and Thailand. Due to travel limitations, supply chain disruptions, and other factors, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the medical tourism industries during the past three years, particularly in prominent medical tourism destinations like India, China, and other growing nations. Medical tourism in India suffered during the first two years of the pandemic as a result of travel restrictions.

According to the World Tourism Organization, the COVID-19 epidemic caused a worldwide decline in tourism of roughly 73% in 2020. Arrivals of tourists in the Asia-Pacific area fell by 84% in 2020 compared to 2019.  However, once international aircraft begin to operate in March or April 2022 and foreign traffic returns to pre-COVID levels, medical tourism is anticipated to rise in India after being all but eliminated during the two years affected by the COVID-19 epidemic. Various governments are taking the initiative to revive medical tourism in the nation in order to combat the condition of negative growth brought on by Covid. Due to the nature of the epidemic, they began developing the revitalization strategy both during and after it. The trust and safety component was compromised, leaving the implicated clients in a very vulnerable position. The hospital industry is currently working to recover from its losses. India grew at a negative rate of 79.4% between 2010 and 2020, according to the Tourism Ministry. Although this is the case, the situation today seems to be getting better as a result of the efforts undertaken to deal with the pandemic scenario. Due to its policies and regulations, India is now experiencing an increase in medical tourism following the pandemic.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), 697,453 medical tourists (7% of all foreign visitors) traveled to India for medical treatment in 2019. By 2023, India will hold 6% of the global market share for medical value tourism (MVT). In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that their numbers would increase quickly.

Here are a few statistics and data that show why medical travel will increase over the next few years.

·        India's $6 billion medical tourism market is currently expected to grow to $13 billion by 2026.

·        From 2020 to 2027, the medical industry is projected to expand at a CAGR of 21.1%. Additionally, the organized tertiary and quaternary sector's medical value travel might increase from 12 to 15 percent.

Beyond its primary source nations in West Asia and Africa and its surrounding regions, India also has the potential to draw patients from wealthy nations. This is primarily due to the fact that the country enjoys the special distinction of having access to all super-specialties, including organ transplantation, oncology, joint transplant, heart surgeries, along with complex surgeries too in some circumstances.

The Indian government's MoHFW launched fresh initiatives to increase medical travel to the nation in September 2022. For example, creating a feedback mechanism to gather testimonials from medical tourists, providing special medical visas for tourists coming to India for medical treatment from 165 countries, and the "Heal in India" effort to promote India as a major destination for medical tourism. Due to the preference for medical tourism among its emerging nations, government initiatives, and the low cost of medical care in this region, the Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to hold a significant market share. India provides healthcare at a significant discount to countries in the West and the Middle East.

In December 2021, IJIRA estimates that the cost of medical care and treatment in India was over 50% less than it was in Europe. In addition, healthcare costs here are reduced by 65% to 90% compared to those in America. These data highlight the dominance of Asia-Pacific countries in global medical travel. The initiatives implemented by the governments of the Asia-Pacific nations are also anticipated to boost market expansion in the area. For instance, the Indian government planned to introduce a specific category of AYUSH visas in April 2022 for travelers who want to travel to India for traditional medicine or medical tourism.

To Conclude, According to recent research, "Affordability" (costly in the home country), "Accessibility" (long waiting period), "Better quality" (care and support services are better quality than the home country), and "Availability" (not available in home country) were the four most frequently cited reasons given by patients for traveling abroad for medical treatment.

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