The global healthcare tourism market is steadily maturing, reflected in the growing number of patients travelling overseas for medical treatment. Credible industry reports estimate that the global medical tourism market was worth about US$20 billion in 2016 and is projected to record a sharp compounded annual growth rate of 18.8 per cent to reach a size of over US$ 47 billion by 2021. Some of the principal reasons that have boosted the growth of the global healthcare tourism industry include lower costs than what is available in the travellers’ country of origin and better treatment quality with quicker recuperation.
So if you are a patient who is looking for high-standard treatment abroad or have somebody at home who requires quick medical attention, we present below a list of the top medical tourism destinations of the world with an explanation of why they are considered to be the best in the field.
India: At the cutting-edge of healthcare technology
Why India? India is one of the key players in the global medical tourism industry, providing patients with healthcare services that are driven by modern technology and efficient care. Besides, many hospitals in India are accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) and Joint Commission International (JCI). Additionally, in India, there is close to zero waiting time as scheduling surgery or other interventions can be achieved quickly upon diagnosis confirmation. Among the various healthcare solutions, India is known for cardiovascular and orthopaedic interventions that can be provided at high-quality and affordable rates.
Key patient benefits? It is estimated that availing healthcare facilities in India saves patients between 65 per cent to 90 per cent of costs compared to the cost of similar services in the US. This fact has evolved India into one the most visited nations for healthcare.
Surplus patient offerings? Patients visit India not only for the quality and affordability of healthcare services but also for its tourism. The country offers several sightseeing and vacationing options that can vastly aid patient recuperation.
Malaysia: An award-winning medical tourism model
Why Malaysia? Malaysia has scooped up the number one spot in the International Medical Travel Journal’s award for ‘Health and Medical Tourism Destination of the year’ consecutively in 2015 and 2016. The nation ranks among the best providers of healthcare in all of Southeast Asia.
Key patient benefits? Health travellers who visit Malaysia have the potential to save 65 per cent to 80 per cent on medical costs compared to the cost in the US or the EU. Moreover, Malaysia offers excellent patient comfort with five-star hospital rooms that look more like hotel suites. Additionally, at both Penang and Kuala Lumpur international airports, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), the apex industry body for the sector, provides lounge and concierge services to medical tourists to ensure comfort the moment they arrive in Malaysia. This also goes a long way in building patient trust.
Surplus patient offerings? Malaysia’s emphasis on holistic patient care and wellbeing is reflected in the fact that some of the renowned healthcare destinations in the country offer, for example, indoor pools for hydrotherapy.
Thailand: Internationally-accredited healthcare infrastructure
Why Thailand? Thailand is globally renowned for its unique hospitality and also the fact that the country has been able to create a brand that is firmly rooted on tourism. Hence, Thailand is most suitable for patients preferring cutting-edge healthcare access plus an option to holiday in a country that is renowned for its exotic beaches and other locales. Having said that, the magnet that has the strongest pull for international patients is that Thailand has the largest number of internationally-accredited hospitals in Southeast Asia.
Key patient benefits? Medical services in Thailand saves a patient 50 per cent to 75 per cent on medical expenses they would have incurred for similar services in the developed world. Moreover, Thailand also offers patients time-tested treatment solutions like Thai massage and other forms of deep relaxation therapies that aid in their healing and recuperation.
Surplus patient offerings? Thailand is the most reputed for dispensing advanced dentistry services as well as cosmetic and dermatological procedures. Moreover, large and prominent hospitals in Thailand are well-versed with outstation patient requirements, reflected in the fact that one of them provides advanced healthcare services to over 4 lac medical tourists annually.
Singapore: Sophisticated solutions in healthcare
Why Singapore? Singapore is one of the most developed countries in the world, maintaining the top-spot in the World Health Organisation’s ranking of healthcare in Asian countries. Excellent medical services, state-of-the-art facilities, well-trained specialists and an emphasis on comprehensive patient care has turned Singapore into a much sought-after worldwide healthcare location
Key patient benefits? Seeking healthcare in Singapore saves a patient 25 per cent to 40 per cent of what they would have spent on the same services in the US. As the medical tourism market becomes more competitive and with countries like Singapore continually investing in its healthcare infrastructure and resources, it is likely to remain at the top as a key player in the industry of medical travel.
Surplus patient offerings? Singapore also boasts of a sophisticated tourism industry with a number of must-visit places like the Sentosa Islands and the Universal Studios. Besides, the country is also a shopping magnet with a variety of innovative lifestyle, home décor, cosmetics and tech products available at reasonable prices.
Taiwan: Emerging medical destination
Why Taiwan? Interestingly, Taiwan has experienced gradual expansion in medical tourism in the recent years. With advances in the treatment of cardiac diseases and orthopaedic and neurological conditions, Taiwan is widely expected to emerge as a preferred destination in these medical fields.
Key patient benefits? Taiwan initiated the first kidney transplant and the first-ever paediatric liver transplant in Asia. As such, it has an established medical practice. Moreover, patients can expect savings of 40 per cent to 55 per cent in healthcare costs as compared to the cost of similar services in the more advanced countries.
Surplus patient offerings? Taiwan offers patients comfortable accommodation options with spacious rooms and also well-trained and empathetic English-speaking staff.
In 2017, more than 12 million travellers packed their bags, booked flights and headed-off to destinations around the globe to undergo medical procedures and recovering by the poolside or on the beach as well as to discover other cultures and cuisines. Additionally, many of the global medical tourism destinations offer more than simply healthcare; they bundle the experience with other succours like tourism opportunities and spa-like amenities.
So if you’re someone who’s thinking of overseas travel for healthcare, do get in touch with GD Assist. As one of the most renowned medical tourism facilitators in Bangladesh, GD Assist will help you identify the ideal country matching your medical needs and budget, in addition to short-listing the right hospital, booking accommodation as well as doctor appointments. GD Assist can also take care of all your visa and logistical requirements.
So get in touch with GD Assist today and get going…
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