Increased growth seen in the global medical tourism industry.
Eight-to-ten years ago, medical tourism was hardly large enough to be noticed. Today, more than 200,000 patients per year visit Singapore alone and nearly half of them are from the Middle East.
This year, approximately half-a-million foreign patients are expected to travel to India for medical care, whereas in 2002, the number was only 150,000. This gives an idea about the rate of growth of this industry that has been showing a northward trend in the last couple of years.
Factors that have accelerated medical tourism include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries
Medical tourism gives medical tourists worldwide an opportunity to get the best quality treatment. Mainly patients who need cosmetic plastic surgery, medical surgery and dental surgery travel to other country to get treatment in lower cost. While the lower cost is the primary motivation to travel abroad, some medical tourist seeks medical care overseas because of immediate availability of procedures and sometime unavailability of certain procedures.
Patients have genuine reasons to seek out care beyond the United States. There are some regions of the world where medical facilities are hard to come by, if they exist at all and in some countries, health-care system for public is so overburdened that it can take years to get needed care. In Britain and Canada, for instance, the waiting period for a hip replacement can be a year or more, while in Bangkok or Bangalore, a patient can be in the operating room the morning after getting off a plane.
Now more and more patients from USA are opting to undergo medical treatment abroad for procedures such as: heart bypasses, fertility treatments and face lifts. Every patient avoids travelling but due to the high cost of medical treatment in the USA, many American patients are going abroad for medical treatments. Their purpose is to save money on medical treatment conducted by doctors who are often trained in the United States, at hospitals that maintain the precise standards of patient care and safety.
A research shows that in 2006, about 150,000 American citizens traveled to Latin America and Asia for medical treatment. The figure increased to approximately 300,000 in 2007 and by 2010, experts say that the number could increase to well over 1 million.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader