Medical Tourism is not new to the world; from ages people have been traveling overseas for medical treatments. Yet, over the last few years the world is resonating with the term called Medical Tourism or medical travel. The landscape for Medical Tourism has changed significantly owing to a various reasons. The Medical Tourism market is booming and expected to gain further prominence over the forecast period attributed to the economic growth across the globe. Economic growth is also responsible for the ever changing preferences of destinations people travel to.
According to a recent study report published by the Market Research Future, The global market of Medical Tourism is projected to accrue at a rapid pace during the forecast period (2017 – 2023). The Market is forecasted to account for an upsurge accretions of USD 226,762.7 Million by 2023with a whooping double digit CAGR of 21.4% during 2017 and 2023.
The staggering accruals of Medical Tourism Market are attributed to the advanced and cost effective technologies. The increasing globalization, increasing global capital funding and advancement in medical technology has led to the betterment of international healthcare services. Medical Tourism Market is majorly led by the Medical excellence along with international accreditation. Increasing accredited facilities is a prime factor propelling the market growth of Medical Tourism. High treatment costs and lengthy waiting times for medical procedures, being the two major factors in driving medical tourism, are also supported by easier and cheaper international travel. While the U.K.’s population prefers to travel abroad for bypassing long waits, patients from the U.S. travel outside for availing of treatments at cheaper costs.
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Worldwide Governments are keen and rendering the maximum support to entitle their country as a successful destination concerning healthcare system under the 2020 Vision. They ensure that there are numerous Specialty hospitals and clinics that measure up to international standards. Further, they ensure that there are renowned medical schools to ensure that the myriad of doctors and specialists graduate from there every year. Along with carrying these activities Governments also ensure that while costs are kept relatively low, the standard remains above average and competitive with the global markets. This factor, especially makes medical and health tourism so popular. Holistic approach in providing services, quality of treatments, and highly specialized and educated staff are biggest competitive advantage a country can have. From the very first point of patient ´s contact with the call centres or reception staff to the aftercare and follow up with the patient, these hospitals provide them with a 5-star treatment in every point of view. They promise world´s best medical care and quality service and work really hard to keep it up.
One can never emphasize enough on the role of the private-public sector and the key public and government institutions on board of all the major initiatives and projects that would ultimately lead to a faster development of medical tourism. The policies that involve strategic and business-friendly visa regimes, taxation, investment levels, supporting infrastructure are all conducive to a healthier Medical tourism and network management growth. Tourist Boards introduce different websites for health tourism that connects private and public sector initiatives with potential medical travellers. Public sector has a great role in positioning a nation as one of leading destinations for medical travellers. Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Board, and medical clusters are all working on this important vision of branding and positioning of a nation.
Some hospitals in the market are developing a Health and Wellness Destination Guide. They consider such tool as necessary or preconditions for entering international markets after positioning the country as top notch destination for Medical Tourism.
Medical Tourism Market – Competitive Analysis
Characterized by the presence of several major players, having international recognition; the global market of Medical Tourism appears to be highly fragmented and competitive. Marketers compete based upon price and brand reinforcement. Well established players incorporate acquisition, collaboration, partnership, expansion, and technology launch in order to gain competitive advantage in this market and to maintain their market position. These players are service oriented and always seeking ways to deliver great medical care and hospitality to international and domestic patients. To stay abreast in the market, these key players keep a regular tap to measure satisfaction of their clients through different programs such as online satisfaction questionnaire, Operator rating questionnaire after each treatment/service and Mystery shopping for quality analysis of all departments and services (call centres, reception, operators, nurses). They also ensure that all their staff attend academy program regularly through which they conduct classes and seminars with coaches who are the best in the area of leadership, soft skills and communication for employees and internal communication. These key players also believe that continuous education is fundamental to represent the base of their corporate culture and 5-star service excellence. They are investing significantly in marketing health and wellness to patients. To improve the numbers of medical tourist they use direct marketing, targeting “diaspora” and actively visiting specialized global conferences, workshops, and fairs. Sponsoring the events such as HTI, (Health Tourism Industry) Conference, The World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress (WMTC) etc. is also a gimmick in marketing and branding on international markets. There is a more focus on GCC countries, and USA market.
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Medical Tourism Market – Regional Analysis
The Asia Pacific region accounted for the largest share of the global medical tourism market, which had a lion share of 43.7% in 2016. This growth was attributed to heavy investment in infrastructure development, rising economy, technology up gradation, low cost and quality medical services, and government initiative to promote medical tourism in this region. Medical Tourism Market in India is booming attributed to the latest, low-cost technologies. The industry has evolved into a fully-fledged luxury market. Latest medical technologies in Indian hospitals at a lower cost is majorly contributing towards the country emerging as the premier Medical Tourism hub of the world. Treatments provided in India from accredited facilities are at par with any developed country in the world but at a lower cost, thus making giving Medical Tourism a competitive advantage over others. The digitisation in the health industry will also make the flow of foreign patients easier in the upcoming time.
America holds the second position in the medical tourism, which is followed by Europe. Central and South American countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil are some of the most popular destinations for Americans and Canadians.
The American medical tourism market is expected to grow till USD 102,496.8 million at a CAGR of 22% by end of the 2023.
Europe is the growing market for the medical tourism. Since people from Western Europe are traveling to America to seek cost-effective treatments, which has relaxed the growth of the market.
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