Medical tourism is a high-growth industry driven by globalization and rising healthcare costs in developed countries. People prefer traveling to developing countries for treatments in order to save cost. More than forty countries in Asia, America, Africa and Eastern Europe are serving millions of medical tourists annually. International medical service providers are in continuous race to get accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI).
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India are the major destinations in the Asian medical tourism market. Thailand is more popular among Western European medical tourists for cosmetic surgery. Singapore and India specialize in complex procedures with India having a cost advantage and Singapore a technology advantage. The most common categories of procedures that people pursue during medical tourism trips are cosmetic surgery, dentistry, cardiology (cardiac surgery), and orthopedic surgery.
The healthcare industry in Thailand has seen rapid growth in recent years, ahead of the country's GDP. In Thailand, medical costs are lower than in Singapore and also, it is a much more popular tourist destination. In this regard it is providing medical services, latest medical technology, medicines, and is further strengthening modern medicine, alternative medicine and biotechnology.
The Malaysian government is aggressively promoting medical tourism. Through its Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia oversees tourism policies and tourism-related activities to realize its vision of making Malaysia an international tourism destination.
Indian government is aggressively promoting India as a global healthcare destination. It has also started giving affiliation to the companies working in healthcare sector. Being one of the lowest cost and highest quality of all medical tourism destinations, it offers wide variety of procedures at about one-tenth the cost of similar procedures in the US.
The Korean government is promoting the nation's growing medical tourism industry and is actively taking initiatives that are mainly geared to introduce the services and facilities of Korean hospitals to overseas expositions. However, Korea has yet to increase its standing among other Asian nations.
This report gives an overview of the medical tourism industry with focus on Asia. It discusses the major medical tourist destinations like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India, South Korea and Turkey and their respective competitive advantages. The major healthcare organizations in Asia are also profiled in the later part of the report.