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Global medical tourism market expected to reach $32.5 billion in 2019

Washington: A market study recently released by Transparency Market Research (TMR) estimates the global medical tourism market to rise at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17.90% from 2013 to 2019 and reach a value of $32.5 billion by the end of 2019.

The research report, titled ‘Medical Tourism Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019,’ states that the worldwide medical tourism market attained a value of $10.5 billion in 2012.

Medical tourism is defined as traveling from one location to another with a purpose to gain medical assistance. Generally, people from developing nations travel to developed countries for medical treatments that are unavailable in their own countries due to poor medical and healthcare infrastructure. However, in recent years, people residing in developed economies have also begun travelling to less developed countries in order to gain cost-efficient medical assistance.

India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Taiwan and South Korea are the major medical tourism markets across the world.

According to the study, the falling cost of medical procedures in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea, Poland, Costa Rica and Dubai is encouraging people to travel to these countries for their treatment and, in turn, is propelling the global medical tourism market significantly.

In addition, the widening range of medical treatments available in these countries, coupled with technical advancements in the field of medical and healthcare, is likely to boost the global medical tourism market greatly during the forecast period, states the report.

Thailand has emerged as the most popular destination for cosmetic surgeries among the medical tourists from Western Europe. In 2012, Thailand had welcomed around 2.5 million foreign patients, accounting for 45% of the overall number of foreign medical tourists arrived in Asia.

However, Malaysia is likely to dominate the global medical tourism market in the coming years. Almost 0.7 million patients were treated in Malaysia in 2012. Analysts expect around 2 million patients to gain medical assistance in Malaysia by the end of the forecast period, notes the research report.

The report further states that India and Singapore are the most preferred destinations in case of complex medical procedures. India has attracted a large number of patients due to its increasing popularity in the field of cardiac treatments. Costa Rica, Dubai, Poland and the Philippines have been identified as the prospective countries for medical tourism in this market study.

Samitivej Sukhumvit, Raffles Medical Group, Fortis Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals, Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre, Asian Heart Institute, Bumrungrad International Hospital, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, Min-Sheng General Hospital, and Prince Court Medical Centre are some of the major organizations operating in the global medical tourism market.

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