The global medical tourism market is expected to reach the market value of around USD 162 billion by 2026 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 13 percent in terms of revenue during 2018–2026, according to Globe Newswire. Rising medical costs in the US and Europe with the enhanced principle of healthcare technology in developing nations like India and China are boosting the growth of the medical tourism industry. In addition, factors such as rising geriatric population over the world, high medical insurance costs in developed regions, and the availability of affordable world-class medical facilities in emerging economies are also flourishing the demand for medical tourism worldwide. Furthermore, in developing countries, is expected to accelerate the forthcoming medical tourist flow through gradual innovation and certain achievements in the medical research. Also, increasing healthcare investments by various government and private sectors are the factors estimated to further sustain the market growth. However, stringent documentation processes, limited insurance coverage and issues related to visa approval are some of the deterring factors for the global market.
Medical tourism generates direct foreign exchange income and contributes to the overall development of any economy. It also provides employment and business opportunities for residents. Moreover, it aids the growth of associated businesses such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and tourism. Government support to maintain the general reputation and political stability of the host country is a key factor driving the medical tourism market. Government authorities are willing to invest in local enterprises to capitalize on the growth of medical tourism.
Asia-Pacific is estimated to be the fastest developing regional section and will continue to hold its position over the next 7 years. Thailand dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2018 owing to low cost and good quality medical services offered in the country. It is the home to Asia’s first largest private hospital, Bumrungrad International Hospital, which is also the first hospital to receive a JCI accreditation and ISO 9001 certification. Till date, over 53 private hospitals have received JCI accreditation. Singapore, Colombia, and Taiwan are some of the fastest growing medical tourism destinations in this market. Medical tourism is an important source of revenue generation for these countries, boasting advanced healthcare infrastructure and skilled manpower to cater to international patients. Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd. is the leading treatment destinations for medical tourism in India. Other prominent examples include Mexicali Bariatric Center in Mexico and TMC fertility in Malaysia.