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Guide to some popular medical tourist destinations in Asia

popular medical tourist destinations in Asia

Asia has always been one of the most favorite tourist destinations all over the world. The exotic culture, beautiful sceneries and warm climate of Asia attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year. However, in the past few years, the medical tourism in Asia has considerably increased due to low-cost medical treatments by highly qualified doctors in excellent healthcare centers. Medical tourism outlook in Asia is bright.

Medical tourism is a fast-growing industry catering to patients who travel across national boundaries to receive medical treatments. It has emerged as one of the rapidly growing segments in Asia. Low cost of medical treatments as compared to western nations attracts more patients. The quality health services provided in Asian countries make them favorite or preferred destination for medical travelers. Following are the few countries of Asia which are considered as the best destinations for medical tourism:


Indian doctor

Medical tourism is a rising concept whereby people from world over visit India for their medical or relaxation needs. According to the estimates declared by the ministry of tourism, India received 6.97 lakh international patients on medical visa accounting for 6.9% of the total foreign tourist arrivals. India offer most common treatments like heart surgery, neurology, oncology, knee and other joint transplant, dental care and cosmetic surgeries. These treatment procedures cost about 80 percent less than that would be spent in developed countries. India has become the primary choice of medical travelers because of its history and culture. Language has never been an obstacle in India as most of the people speak English.

The health care system in India provides you with excellent medical facilities by expert and highly qualified doctors at surprisingly low cost. So, the low cost, use of latest technologies and excellent health care systems has successfully increased medical tourism in India and is expected to attract more and more medical tourists in the future.

Patients come to India not only for specialized treatments and surgeries but also for routine check-ups and other vital health consultations. Amended e-visa rules by the Indian government for 150 countries in 2016 has further eased the visa processes for foreigner medical travelers. Moreover, government issues special medical visas for patients and also to those accompanying him/her for the purpose.

Read more in Why medical tourism in India gets a boost?


stem cell therapy

Singapore is one of the most developed countries in Asia and it has become a top healthcare destination. Singapore offers stem cell therapy, thousands of medical travelers visit only to avail this therapy. The presence of vigorous medical infrastructure and rich culture also attracts tourists.

Those seeking state-of-the-art facilities, world-class care and privacy, Singapore is the first choice. Although the treatment cost is on the higher side compared to other medical tourism destinations in Asia, still the country is much-favored by residents of affluent nations who can enjoy a great holiday along with availing quality treatments. In medical tourism index, Singapore ranked very high in terms of destination attractiveness and patient experience, which matters more than anything else.

Read more in Guide to medical tourism in Singapore

South Korea

woman undergoing cosmetic treatment

South Korea is known as the beauty hub of the world for its high reputation in cosmetic surgeries like facelift, eyelid surgery, nose job and all but its medical tourism offerings are more than this.  The South Korean government has recently set a huge target of attracting at least 300,000 medical tourists by the year 2015. As reported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, nearly 364,000 foreign patients visited the country in 2016. Many people from the western nations like the US and Canada and also from UAE, China and Japan visit this country for cancer treatment, rheumatism care, organ transplantations, and for the Korean traditional medicine.

South Korea has one of the best healthcare systems in Asia with an established niche in tech healthcare. Government also offers special visa to foreign patients that even covers injury and death if it happens during the medical treatment.

Read more in Guide to medical tourism in South Korea


Guide to medical Tourism in Malaysia

Malaysia is another Asian country, which receives maximum number of medical tourists every year. In 2019, the country recorded 1.3 million healthcare travelers who fetched revenue worth RM 1.7 billion. The country has been ranked as the top destination in medical tourism surpassing the numbers of the US. The major chunk of medical tourists is from Indonesia. Besides the latest medical technologies and expert doctors, Malaysia also attracts a large number of medical tourists because of their high-proficiency in English language for the convenience of the tourists.The best thing of Malaysian healthcare is that prices are regulated in private healthcare institutions preventing them from overcharging foreign patients.

Read more in Guide to medical tourism in Malaysia


joint replacement

Taiwan is famous for performing complex medical procedures like liver transplant, bone marrow transplant, joint replacement surgery and plastic surgery at a very low cost. Their state-of-the-art health facilities and high success rates has made Taiwan an easy and convenient medical tourists destination for many American and European nationals.

Taiwan gets its medical tourists mainly from the Mainland China and also from Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines and Africa. Despite high-quality treatments and significant low treatment costs, the country is yet to get due attention in the global medical tourism map.

According to the country’s medical tourism website, the country boasts of housing 14 hospitals among the list of 200 best hospitals in the world. Another great advantage for medical travelers is that English is widely spoken and understood by the people of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s popularity in medical tourism is shooting as it offers best treatment options for complex procedures. Apart from conventional treatments, patients also avail meditation, hypnosis, music therapies, meditation and other alternative treatments for their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Read more in the Guide to medical tourism in Taiwan


breast implants

Thailand is already a very popular tourist destination and so, getting medical treatments here at a very low cost will not only cure your disease but will also make an awesome vacation in this exotic location.

This Asian country has gained popularity mainly for breast implants and gender reassignment procedures. The health care facilities in Thailand maintain international standards and provide you with all the latest medical treatments available throughout the world.

Government efforts for more than a decade to make it a giant medical medical tourism hub through its Centre of Excellent Health Care of Asia initiative has led to the establishment of one of the highest numbers of JCI accredited hospitals confirming the gold standard of medical treatments. According to a 2016 WHO study, medical tourists visiting Thailand are more from the eastern Mediterranean and south East Asian countries.

Moreover, the traditional Thai treatment has also gained a very good reputation over the years because of the lack of side-effects and successful outcomes. So, it has also been observed lately that more and more people from other countries have started to flock Thailand for getting the traditional treatments.

Read more in the Guide to medical tourism in Thailand.

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