Medical Tourism – The Future and the Race for Dominance
The developed countries, despite evolved economic strength, are a costly destination for patients. The need for cheaper medical treatment and at the same time superior treatment options has given rise to the medical tourism industry.
The medical tourism industry is a fast growing industry with tremendous opportunities for market participants. Globalization and rising healthcare expenditure in the developed regions would be major driving factors for offshore choices. The challenge for people in the developed region is in choosing the best and at cost that would not pinch the pockets. However, such an equation would not fit within the developed economic landscape. Developed countries, due to steady growth in economy, have become a rich man’s haven. People falling in the middle and lower middle class category, might not be in a position to afford treatments in these regions.
However, the grass is greener on the other sides of the world. In its true sense, emerging economies are a perfect choice for medical tourism. It is a perfect bargain, as the developing countries are now fully equipped with technology that is needed to give world class treatment, and at the same time, very affordable. The trend is now to look regions such as Asia, Africa and Europe for medical treatment.
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India are some of the fantastic medical destinations, and are very popular among the world’s travelling population. Thailand has gained prominence among western European medical tourists, and especially for cosmetic surgery needs. On the other hand, Singapore and India are countries that have specialization in conducting complex procedures. India has cost as the advantage over Singapore, and Singapore has technology as an advantage over India.
Tourists from all over the world move into destinations such as India, Singapore, and Thailand for cosmetic surgeries, dentistry, cardiac surgery and many other related medical needs. These countries have positioned well in the global market with various expertise up their sleeves. Thailand has witnessed rapid growth in the healthcare sector in the last few years. It is a prime location people around the world flood into, as the country offer better medical care, and also is well known for its alternate medicine industry.
Countries such as Malaysia, India and Korea are heavily promoting medical tourism. Every country is competing with others, and offering superior facilities to attract more tourists. India has a highly qualified medical community with top class expertise and cost that is one-tenth to that of the United States. Malaysian government is working hard to make it an international tourist destination.
Eventually, countries with superior medical care facilities and better cost advantage will prevail as winners and exploit the prevailing market opportunities. The emerged economies must work towards cost and offer much better options and lure customers to stay in the country to counter increasing incidences of travel related to travel.