Robust efforts across major countries in the world to become hubs for medical tourism are gaining momentum. India is one of the top 10 countries where people travel to seek healthcare services. Medical tourism involves international travel to receive medical care. The global medical tourism sector is a thriving multi-billion-dollar industry and is experiencing consistent growth. The Ministry of Tourism data shows a growing number of foreign tourist arrivals for medical purposes in India. The global medical tourism market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7 percent, reaching $39.95 billion in 2023. Despite potential drawbacks such as language barriers and travel risks, medical tourism is expected to remain a viable and attractive option for individuals seeking quality medical care along with the added benefit of a vacation.

Medical tourism: What is it and why is it on a rise – Detail Points

– Medical tourism is international travel to receive medical care
– The global medical tourism sector is a thriving multi-billion-dollar industry
– People from less-developed countries go to developed countries for treatments not available in their own country
– People also travel from richer to less-developed countries for healthcare services at a cheaper price
– Foreign tourist arrivals for medical purposes in India have been increasing
– The global medical tourism market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate
– Reasons for traveling abroad for surgeries include decreased cost, recommendations, preferred care, and treatment unavailability
– Medical tourism offers benefits such as cheaper cost, reduced waiting times, specialized expertise, and alternative medicine
– Potential disadvantages of medical tourism include lack of insurance coverage, travel risks, and difficulty with follow-up care

What is medical tourism?

Medical tourism is international travel to receive medical care. The global medical tourism sector is experiencing consistent growth driven by the expanding globalization of healthcare services. It encompasses receiving medical treatment in another country followed by tourism activities and sightseeing.

Why do people travel abroad for surgeries?

People travel abroad for surgeries for reasons such as decreased cost, recommendations from families and friends, preferred care, and unavailability of certain treatments in their own country. Infrastructure limitations and insurance coverage also contribute to the decision to travel for medical treatments.

The growth of medical tourism

As per the Ministry of Tourism data, foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) for medical purposes in India have been consistently growing, signifying the increasing popularity of medical tourism. The global medical tourism market is also poised for substantial growth, reflecting the global trend of seeking healthcare services abroad.

Benefits of medical tourism

  • Cheaper cost: Medical costs in certain countries are significantly cheaper compared to Western countries, making it an attractive option for individuals seeking healthcare services.
  • Reduced waiting times: Booking appointments for surgeries in countries like India often involves shorter waiting periods compared to Western countries.
  • Specialised expertise: Doctors in foreign lands are more specialized in specific fields, ensuring a high level of expertise and care.
  • Alternative medicine: Some countries offer alternative types of medicine, such as Ayurveda, which can be beneficial for certain conditions.

Disadvantages of medical tourism

  • Lack of insurance coverage: Many insurance companies do not cover medical treatments received abroad, leading to potential financial implications for individuals.
  • Travel risk/cost: Travelling to a foreign country for medical treatment involves inherent travel risks and expenses.
  • Difficulty with follow-up care: Follow-up appointments after surgery may be difficult to manage when returning to one’s home country, leading to potential challenges in post-operative care.
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