medical tourism

Demand for Medical Tourism Grows

As demand for medical tourism grows, more and more people around the world are travelling away from their home countries for medical procedures.

Cost is a common motivation for medical travelers. Patients in the US are increasingly looking abroad for affordable health care. World class medical facilities and highly trained surgeons can be found all around the world, and can often offer better value for money. A medical holiday offers the opportunity to better recover from surgery. Patients are provided with a break from the taxing day to day activities of home.

Increased demand for outpatient surgery.

The increase in patient demand for these surgeries has been accompanied by the growth of outpatient surgical centers and freestanding facilities. Outpatient surgeries comprise almost 75 percent of medical tourism procedures and, for many of these, consumer out-of-pocket payments are high; the option of medical tourism will be attractive.

Increased sophistication of medical tourism operations.

The medical tourism industry is evolving with increased attention to peri-operative care coordination, risk management, safety and outcome management, and transparency. As health insurers and employers consider adding medical tourism options to benefits programs, hosts of these programs will become more sophisticated. Medaway Health is a pioneer in this field.

Increased coverage/demand for dental surgery.

As the population continues to age, the demand for dental surgery continues to grow. Greater focus on preventive services will likely increase the number of visits to the dentist each year. A significant proportion of dentists will retire over the next 20 years; medical tourism could help to ease this supply demand mismatch.

Increased demand for cosmetic surgery.

Despite the slowdown of the U.S. economy, the demand for cosmetic procedures, such as plastic surgery, has not decreased. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates that Americans spent almost $13.2 billion on cosmetic surgeries in 2007 alone. In the U.K., estimates project that the number of cosmetic procedures nearly doubled from 2005 to 2007. The growing demand for these procedures could potentially be alleviated by medical tourism.

Increased globalization of the workforce.

More than half of the workforce will be of second third- generation foreign descent in the next 25 years. The coupling of planned visits “home” with elective surgical procedures will increase as insurance plans and employers pursue this workforce, and as these citizens/visitors express desire to return to their ancestral home for care by clinicians. More culturally accepting of their preferences and values.

Increased access to low-cost global transportation.

Low-cost air carriers and special off-peak pricing by major air carriers will enhance access to medical tourism opportunities.

Influence of culture and media.

The influence of culture, reality television and media are influencing the younger generations, and minority groups to seek surgery options