<![CDATA[For starters, medical tourism is a process where the consumers elect to travel across international borders with the intention of receiving quality yet cost effective medical care. Of late, the concept has gained mainstream acceptance and facilitated the growth of economies of the destination countries. The contributors of the growth of medical tourism are aplenty. Ever escalating healthcare expenses, high insurance interest rates, unemployment and endless wait of the patient to receive medical care in their native lands encourage them to travel to off shore locations in pursuit of quality medical care. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the major contributors towards the economic development of the destinations countries. Therefore, many countries especially the third world countries are making a conscious effort to develop infrastructure to facilitate medical tourism big time.
A study conducted by eminent medical tourism expert Dr Prem that is, revealed that Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey, are the most sought after and celebrated medical destinations, as of now.
- For those who are looking for viable treatment options regarding procedures that may include but not limited to cardiac surgery, hip and knee replacement, dental surgery and cosmetic surgery, countries like India, Argentina, Cuba, Hungary, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, The Philippines, Ukraine, Lithuania, and South Korea are the most sought after options.
- High precision procedures like cosmetic surgery are available in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Colombia. Over the last few years, South American countries like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia have become a hot destination for world-class plastic surgeries. The concerned countries possess highly endowed, proficient and experienced cosmetic surgeons known for providing world class services. Interestingly, the majority of medical tourists come from nations like the United States, Canada, the U.K, and Japan, where the cost of treatment are on the higher side.
The initiatives taken by the most sought after medical tourism destination countries
The emergence of the aforementioned destinations is not a matter of chance but an outcome of persistent efforts on part of the governments of destination countries. They have emerged as the most coveted names on the medical tourism landscape by the sheer dint of providing favorable environment to facilitate medical tourism big time.
- In most of the medical tourism hot spots, both the government and private sector has made substantial investments in healthcare infrastructure.
- To be competitive, the nations have given due emphasis to quality assurance, and transparency of outcomes. As, cost effectiveness is the driving force of medical tourism, the international destinations keep the prices of the medical procedures to bare minimum, hence making quality services accessible to many in dire need.
- In addition to this, they flaunt an exceptional tourism infrastructure to make the treatment of the patient convenient, hassle free and memorable.
To get a better measure of their emergence as leading medical tourism destinations, let’s consider the efforts that Singapore and Thailand have made to promote medical tourism.
- Singapore recently incorporated a collaboration of industry and government representatives to form a medical hub. Moreover, Taiwan is planning to come up with$ 318million project with intent to give impetus to development of medical facilities. Another emerging medical tourism destination South Korea is planning to develop medical institutions for foreign patients.
- According to survey reports, in 2002, six hundred thousand medical tourists came to Bangkok and Phuket medical centers in Thailand. In Philippines, the medical tourism industry was included in last year’s Investment Priorities Plan. These trends are enough to justify the phenomenal growth of the medical tourism industry in the present age.