- The four most popular reasons given for why patients travel abroad to receive medical treatment were ‘Affordability (costly in home country)’ at 88%, ‘Accessibility (waiting period is high)’ at 66%, ‘Better quality (care and support services are better quality than the home country) at 38% and ‘Availability (not available in home country) at 46%.
- The top three reasons identified that are essential components of a good medical tourism destination were ‘Quality standards of healthcare and wellness services’ which was marked by 51% of respondents, followed by ‘Accessibility of the destination’ at 30% and ‘Technology, facilities & specialisations available’ at 27%.
People become medical tourists for a number of reasons. For many cost is the main driver, for others accessibility and availability are the prime motivators. Currently, the most popular reasons for traveling abroad for treatment are for dental and cosmetic surgeries and for procedures which are often considerably cheaper abroad. This is especially true for US and Western European patients.
However, the quality of healthcare services also plays an important role in the decision making process; Consumers are drawn to certain destinations because they have some of the most highly respected medical centres and healthcare professionals in their respective fields.
For many patients, the availability and ease of access to certain treatments is an extremely important consideration and increasing numbers are prepared to travel for experimental and controversial medical procedures, including organ transplantation, stem cell treatment and other medical procedures that are at the cutting edge of medical science.