7 Key Medical Tourism Trends
Find out what factors are driving growth in this lucrative industry
UK-based healthcare data provider LaingBuisson has recently published a healthcare market report that takes a global view on medical travel and tourism. Based on studies of outbound and in-bound flows of people seeking treatment abroad, LaingBuisson estimates that the annual number of medical travellers worldwide amounts to 5.5 million and the value of medical travel expenditure is US$ 10-15 billion.
However, the report highlights that it is not a sector without controversy. Ethical issues arise around the sale of organs for donation in poorer countries. Also, there are questions around people returning home with infections or creating burden on their domestic health services owing to complications resulting from surgery overseas.
Key medical tourism trends as outlined by LaingBuisson:
• The greater proportion of medical travel is regional or domestic within a country
• Many medical tourists do not seek out the cheapest destination
• The top three European destinations are also the most expensive ones
• Much medical tourism is for cosmetic, fertility or dental treatment
• There are more failed medical tourism projects than successes
• Many countries have stopped promoting medical tourism
• Many trade associations and medical tourism agencies have now disappeared