Dr Prem Medical Tourism Logo

Guide To Why And How To Integrate Wellness Into The Medical Tourism Business By Dr Prem Jagyasi


The medical tourism industry needs better solutions to fast overcome the lull phase, and this could be achieved by integrating wellness. Global healthcare burden in tremendous with more than 50% of countries unable to provide basic medical support. The approach to health and wellness is changing,and we see a convergence of medical treatments and wellness practices supporting the patient’s preventative and curative purposes. Medical tourism cannot grow solely on medical treatments without considering other vital factors essential for overall well-being.

Guide To Why And How To Integrate Wellness Into The Medical Tourism Business By Dr Prem Jagyasi

business people analysing market

The pandemic has made the entire process of medical tourism complicated with so many restrictions in place. Only the best treatments, affordability, tourism attractions, and top-level support may not be enough to make patients cross the border unless you add something attractive that would add value to their medical tourism objectives.

Hospitals, clinics, medical spas, hotels, wellness resorts, and facilitators must embrace wellness practices ensuring the growth of the business. Medical tourism and wellness tourism will see more cross-promotion for better treatment outcomes and patient experience.

How the future travel is changing?

Covid-19 pandemic spread through extensive air travel

It is confirmed that the Covid-19 pandemic spread through extensive air travel. Therefore, it might take years for travel to rebound to its pre-pandemic form. The Covid-19 curve will go up and down at different times at different places, and countries will impose or lift restrictions accordingly. Patients will not find travel convenient as before.

They will have lesser flexible options in destination selection as visas will not be easily available.  Even if they decide to go for it, they are likely to prefer long-stay vacations to recover and rejuvenate satisfying specific quarantine restrictions enforced in medical tourism destinations.

Deep-rooted fear

Concept of fear of coronavirus.

The Covid-19 scare is deep-seated in patients’ mind who would not prefer risking their existing health status for an overseas venture unless there is a dire need for it where all options are closed.

Apprehensions have shot up to unprecedented levels creating a big dent in traveling sentiment. Medical tourism providers and facilitators need to renovate its medical tourism offerings with integrated wellness programs and create irresistible packages where patients’ enhanced well-being is ensured.

Why wellness is the future?


People have learned to value wellness more than anything else and are in the lookout for uplifting their well-being in all activities of life. Even if there is some incremental enhancement it would be welcome. In medical tourism, patients will be happy to take up various activities or programs to fulfil their long-term health and wellness goals.

Preventative wellness programs would be highly sought after along with the main treatment in medical tourism, patients would not like to fall ill in future and spend money on treatments. Discerning travelers would opt for preventative wellness programs in certified health resorts even if they do not have any underlying condition.

How integrated wellness programs will promote medical tourism?


Cutting-edge treatments, state-of-the-art facilities, cost-effectiveness and the destination’s tourism attractiveness would be more meaningful if integrated with wellness programs that would help in reducing future medication and other associated costs and mitigate the chances of hospitalization. Some chronic ailments are incurable but could be managed well through specific wellness programs to be followed life-long.

Therefore, it is a win-win situation for both the patients and providers. Medical tourism providers and facilitators are at the juncture of shift where they can create unique offerings with wellness integration.

For example, a patient opts for the cardiac bypass surgery overseas and avails of the best treatment and facilities in a particular destination. If the hospital, clinic, or the medical tourism facilitator can integrate specific wellness treatments facilitating the patient’s faster recovery and future health management, it would be an attractive proposition worth considering.

Orthopaedic surgeries, cardiac treatments, cancer surgeries, organ transplantation, etc. are care-intensive treatments frequently sought by medical tourists. These often need longer hospital stay and recuperating period. Integrating curated wellness programs with these complicated treatments would lead to better outcomes.

It is a great opportunity for hospitals, clinics, facilitators or any medical tourism company to convince clients of the improved outcomes of the wellness-integrated package than it would have been in a standalone medical treatment package.

Influence positivity

woman suffering from chronic pain

Patients suffering from chronic pain and other diseases are always in the lookout for some positive outcomes through treatments, medication, and other forms of care to lead quality life. Patients suffering from arthritis, heart failure, cancer or any debilitating condition lead a compromised life.  Integration of suitable wellness treatments or programs will further enhance positivity among them to lead a better life.

Many long duration rehab therapies needing 30-40 days or more follow integrated complementary alternative therapies along with conventional rehab therapies. It empowers patients who can follow the right approach to prevent serious conditions in future. Such wellness-integrated offerings will influence patients in making positive decisions regarding medical tourism.

Delightful outcome

Two female friends talking over coffee

In medical tourism, everything boils down to patient experience from the start to end. The pandemic has further heightened the patients’ expectations, their experiences should not only be ‘great’ but ‘delightful’. Be it elective surgeries or complex treatments, adding wellness elements to medical treatment packages can create the ‘delightful experience’ more than what expected by the patients. Delightful experiences spread fast through word-of-mouth referrals and fetch benefits to the providers and facilitators, the medical tourism industry gets boosted as well.Can medical tourism alone with so many complexities create such delightful experiences?

Tips to integrate wellness and medical tourism business


To bring those delightful experiences, one has to brainstorm ideas matching the medical and wellness needs of patients and clients. Advanced matchmaking services will play a great role in this respect. Hospitals, clinics and facilities can set up wellness therapies and programs within their premises, a trend that is showing up gradually. Few leading medical tourism destinations have set up specific under-the-same-roof medical-wellness facilities creating more attractive propositions.

The following wellness integration tips will be handy:

Curate programs

 Surgeon and his assistant performing cosmetic surgery on nose in hospital operating room

As one of the vital steps of wellness integration, you need meticulously curated wellness programs. Over thousand alternative and complementary wellness treatments are available that can be integrated with medical treatments. You need to make careful choices suiting your treatment provisions and meeting the patients’ needs. If your clinic is offering cutting-edge cosmetic surgeries and treatments, wellness treatments related to enhancing those treatments would be the best for integration.

Personalise the experience


No two patients go through similar kind of sufferings even though the ailment is same. Integration of wellness therapies therefore need to be very personalized with due consideration of the patient’s physical and mental status, personality traits, beliefs, likes and dislikes and last but not the least his/her geographical location and cultural traits.

Ayurveda massage, Shirodhara,and Panchakarma though very common in wellness treatments and programs cannot be applied universally to all. One has to be very selective in application and approach on case-to-case basis. Wellness integration not only is dependent on therapies but the entire set up including the dwelling space, natural surroundings, treatment modalities, food and nutrition, clothing and the ease of communication.

Work in reorienting the medical tourism experience

Smiling adult female doctor reporting medical results to young girl patient

The prime objective integrating wellness programs/treatments is to add value to the entire medical tourism program in terms of outcomes and experience. How the patient feels after taking those programs?  Whenever a wellness component gets integrated, it should create a beautiful experience. Therefore, the expertise lies in accurate evaluation of the patient and whether the integration should be effective before or after the medical treatment. As a provider, you need to be thorough with your patient’s condition and preferences.

Wellness programs – complementary or integrative?


Integrative medicine is a well-recognized treatment modality with promising outcomes in many conditions. Complementary therapies like massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, etc. are often integrated with conventional treatments for better outcomes. However, complementary or integrative medicine should be added to medical tourism packages with proper physician consultation. Licensed therapists and practitioners should be consulted while integrating wellness therapies.

Guarantee outcome

 Customer review

Whatever wellness programs you integrate, guarantee its outcome. The patient should realize and acknowledge the effect of the integrated medical wellness program. At times, the outcome may not be experienced right after the treatment as lot of factors are involved. Be in touch with the patient and get the timely feedback.

What are the best practices for integrating wellness into medical tourism?

group of friends joined yoga class

Integration of wellness programs need to be done with careful consideration of the following so that it doesn’t pinch the patient’s pocket but generate the best outcome to the patient’s satisfaction.

Set the price as per demand

High Angle View Of A Relaxed Young Woman Receiving Cupping Treatment On Back

Whatever additional service/support you bring in, there is an added cost. Set the price keeping in mind the market demand. Is your wellness therapy highly demanded? For example, ayurvedic panchakarma, shirodhara, acupuncture, acupressure, and TCM are few of the most sought-after wellness therapies all over the world. Check the cost of these services in the market before deciding on the price.

Add value to your product

paying for the integrated wellness service

Value is as important as the pricing. The integrated wellness product/service should add a value to the patient else it won’t work even if you keep the price competitive. You need to be very sure of the value the treatment/program carries before fixing the price.

Understand your customers’ perception

Young thoughtfully woman with money in hand

How your customers perceive the price? Is it too pricey or cheap for them? Price perception varies with the customers’ socioeconomic background. Patients from rich countries may find your product reasonably priced while it may seem costly for patients from less developed nations. Even affluent foreign patients might not be willing to pay more or less the same price for the similar wellness treatment/service available in their home countries because of their perception that the price of your product/service in your country should be reasonably low. Pricing perception varies a lot with the destination of both the patient and provider.

Set the right tone of promotion


Integration of wellness should appeal your customers even better resonate with them. Understand how your potential customers view your wellness product.  Get a feel of their fears and concerns, and set the tone that eases their pains and tensions. Make your product affordable and customizable. Add soulful messages supported by right images and user experience.

Be humane in your communication

talking to a senior woman

Your customers are patients seeking the best feasible route to end their suffering. An elderly patient dealing with debilitating pain is more likely to buy your product if he senses the tone of compassion in you. He will be convinced that you have understood his problem and will provide the best solution.

Mind your reputation

customer sharing experience online

Reputation both online and offline matters but online reputation spreads like fire to a vast market. It catches the attention fast, a big advantage for marketers. What is your customers’ experience with your product? People love to share their experiences online especially if it is related to health and wellness. Be prudent in reputation management by aptly dealing with customers’ positive reviews and feedback. Promote conversation and engagement with customers. Display your commitment in resolving customer issues with smart handling of negative feedback.

Take care of your staff

young and freshness energy

Ensure your staff’s needs are well taken care of as they are the ones on whom your reputation rests. They should be well-trained, motivated and carry the right attitude. Provide them the required support to enable them discharge their responsibilities properly.

Showcase reviews and feedback

Create a vibrant brand

Do not forget to collect reviews, testimonials and feedback from your customers. Showcase them through proper marketing channels for better outreach. Create ambassadors from your customers who have highly benefitted from your integrated medical wellness package to enhance your brand image.

Measure the patient experience

the patient experience

Unless you get a measurable parameter of your integrated services, you won’t be able to assess the user experience and the benefits the customers are getting. Measure the patient experience on a 1-10 scale based on the following attributes:

  • Peace of mind of patients/guests
  • Moments of truth
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Product experience

Follow the trends

digital detox

Wellness integration will largely depend on the shifting wellness trends and customer behaviours. Patients struggling with hypertension, cardiac ailments, chronic stress, and anxiety may enjoy enhanced benefits with integrated wellness programs like digital detox, silent retreats, sleep retreats, circadian retreats, forest bathing, mind-body synchronising programs etc.

Global medical tourism conferences have been showcasing innovative wellness programs with thermal waters, hydrotherapy, balneotherapy to cure long-Covid syndrome in non-conventional clinical settings. European Spas received praises for their special respiratory rehabilitation programs focused on strengthening lung functions of Covid-recovered patients. Staycations, workcations, flexications, and wellness sabbatical are emerging wellness travel trends that can be integrated with medical treatment packages based on the patients’ specific needs.

Wellness integration would be the most vital in medical tourism packages in the coming years, but the entire process poses a big challenge. Unless there is a well-coordinated effort among different stakeholders, it will not yield. Accreditations of wellness programs would be crucial to build trust and confidence in patients. Crises bring up opportunities, it is high time medical tourism providers tap imemense opportunities of the massive $4.5 trillion industry, the sooner the better.

What is the Future of Health and Integrated Medical Wellness Industry?

Experienced Caucasian heath care worker preparing a dark-haired female patient for the intravenous vitamin therapy

People traveling abroad to undergo any form of medical procedure have now several options to choose from when deciding on medical wellness facilities or spas. These medical facilities are ideal for such patients as it gives them the opportunity to stay at a place and recover after the medical procedure as well as give their companion an ideal place to retreat.

Health Tourism

couple on Health tourism

Health tourism has become an option to combine overall health improvement and medical treatments together to make the best use of the vacations. Such health tours give people the chance to fully unwind and take time out of their daily routines to relax and refresh their mind as well as body.

Defining Health and Medical Wellness

Woman with depression and relationship problems - Psychoterapist studio

Medical wellness is a very broad term, which covers a medical as well as holistic view of a person’s health where health refers to the physical as well as mental well-being of a person. Similarly, in health and medical wellness, the medical aspect focuses on curing ailments, which can be psychological, physical, or biological; on the other hand, wellness can be described as an option to prevent health problems instead of rectifying already existing diseases.

Wellness programs try to bring about lifestyle changes, create the right nutritional plan, improves physical activities of a person for attaining mental as well as physical well-being. By combining these two aspects of medicine and wellness, people can bring about changes, which can prevent future problems, correct present difficulties and upgrade quality of their life.

Looking Back into History

ayurveda massage alternative healing therapy.beautiful caucasian female getting shirodhara treatment lying on a wooden table in India salon

If we look back, medical wellness industry started growing in the 1950’s; especially in North America and by 1970’s it was a proper sustainable industry. At that time, the idea of achieving overall physical and mental wellness was considered modern but in actuality, its history goes back to 5000 B.C. where in ancient India, healing techniques such as Ayurveda were being used to improve overall health using methods such as proper nutrition and massages. Along similar lines in many other civilizations, different procedures were used such as Turkish baths to provide people with physical as well as mental relaxation.

Popularity of Medical Wellness Tours

liposuction blue pressotherapy. Doctor help lose weight and slimming. Model at costume in salon.

Coming back to the present, we see that popularity of medical wellness tourism is constantly rising. This type of tourism not only introduces tourists to new wellness possibilities but also give them the opportunity to explore cultural and natural heritage of a new country. Many travel operators are nowadays promoting health and medical wellness tours, as there is good demand for such tours.

The reason is that many patients go abroad for medical treatments and take a companion along with them, such companions hardly have anything to do in the foreign country and this is where wellness programs come into focus. During the time their companions undergo medical treatment, they can make use of various wellness programs part of the whole tour package and refresh their mind, body and souls.

Future Prospects

Beautician standing next to a woman in modern spa capsule

The future of health and medical wellness industry seems to be very bright as more advancement takes place in medical techniques and treatment costs go down further in many of the medical wellness tourism destinations. In addition to it, the overlap between medical and health tourism will increase further as awareness spreads about it and more people begin to opt for health and wellness programs instead of going for only medical treatments.

Recent Articles:

Scroll to Top