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  • Published In : Apr 2024
  • Code : CMI938
  • Pages :141
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Pharmaceutical

Market Size and Trends

The medical tourism market is estimated to be valued at USD 14.56 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 34.69 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% from 2024 to 2031. 

Medical Tourism Market Key Factors

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The market has been witnessing steady growth over the past few years driven by factors such as availability of different treatment options at lower costs compared to domestic healthcare, no waiting time for treatments abroad, and availability of advanced medical facilities and treatments across various countries globally. Countries in South-East Asia like Thailand, Singapore, and India have especially gained popularity among medical tourists looking for quality healthcare and treatment in a cost-effective manner. Growing medical expenditures and rising out-of-pocket payments in developed nations have further boosted the global medical tourism industry.

Low cost of treatment

One of the major drivers for the growing medical tourism industry globally is the significantly lower cost of medical treatments in various popular destinations compared to developed countries. Patients from countries like the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and other Western European nations travel abroad for affordable treatments as costs for many routine and elective procedures within their home country's healthcare system continue to rise steeply. Countries like India, Thailand, Mexico, and Turkey have seen a big uptake in medical tourists arriving for procedures and surgeries as the treatment expenditure can be five to 10 times lower for the same quality of care. While developed countries struggle with inflated healthcare budgets owing to escalating costs of new technology, medicines, and an aging population, many destination countries have maintained costs comparatively very low by having less regulatory barriers and lower labor costs. This is enabling doctors and hospitals in these markets to offer highly competitive packaged prices for common orthopedic, cardiac, dental, cosmetic, and fertility treatments which were previously unaffordable for masses

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Medical Tourism Market Concentration By Players

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Advanced medical technologies

Another important driver attracting medical tourists globally is the wide access to modern medical facilities, advanced technologies, and skilled doctors available in leading tourism destinations. While concepts like robot-assisted surgeries, proton therapy cancer treatment, and stem cell therapies were limited to only tier one hospitals in developed nations until some years back, these are now also available in countries like India, Thailand, and Turkey due to focused investments to promote medical value travel. Besides competency in general procedures, many countries are now specializing in niche areas and offering superior outcomes through their experience in specific therapies. For example, India has emerged as a leader in bone marrow transplant, joint replacements, and cardiac bypasses with world-class multispecialty hospital chains offering latest technologies. Similarly, countries like Thailand, Singapore, and South Korea are attracting patients for organ transplants, cancer surgeries, and in-vitro fertilization procedures by providing internationally certified medical infrastructure at par with western countries but at fraction of costs. Growing internet connectivity and remote consults have also helped medical tourists comparing global options and verifying quality standards more easily before deciding on a destination. Medical value travel is thus rising conspicuously as more countries invest in healthcare infrastructure and human capital to be preferred spots for advanced treatments.

Medical Tourism Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Challenges: Lack of standardization and regulation across countries

One of the key challenges faced by the medical tourism market is the lack of standardization and regulation across countries. Different countries have varying standards and protocols for medical and healthcare facilities. This poses difficulties for patients traveling abroad for treatment to ensure they receive quality care that meets acceptable standards. Language barriers and cultural differences also pose unique challenges for foreign patients to navigate the medical system and infrastructure of their host country.

Opportunities:  Emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe

Emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe present significant opportunities for growth in medical tourism. These regions are investing heavily in developing world-class private healthcare facilities focused on specialized services such as elective surgeries, dental care, cosmetic procedures, fertility treatments, and wellness therapies. The relatively lower costs coupled with comparable standards of care in these countries have made them attractive medical tourism destinations.

Medical Tourism Market By Service Provider

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Insights, By Service Provider: Flexibility and advanced facilities

In terms of service provider, private contributes 67.8% share of the market owing to flexibility and advanced facilities. The private service provider segment dominates the medical tourism market due to the key advantages it offers over public options. Private hospitals and clinics have more flexibility in terms of operations and patient care. They face less bureaucratic restrictions and red tape compared to public facilities. This allows private providers to customize treatment plans for each patient's unique needs. They can also offer services outside normal business hours or on short notice to accommodate international travelers' schedules. Private medical tourism facilities also tend to have more advanced infrastructure and latest technology. They invest heavily in state-of-the-art surgical equipment, diagnostic devices, and postoperative care facilities. This attracts patients seeking cutting-edge treatment options not readily available in their home countries. Private providers also recruit internationally trained medical staff and focus on quality rather than volume of patients. They emphasize high standards of hygiene, privacy, and hospitality throughout the patient experience. The personalized care and premium amenities provided by private medical tourism boost customer satisfaction. This positive word-of-mouth has made the private segment very popular. Private providers compete aggressively on price while maintaining quality. They offer attractive discounted packages and flexibilities like medical insurance claims assistance. The wealth of choices across various private brands has expanded this segment's customer base. Its prominence looks set to grow further with continued investments in specialty services and destination healthcare facilities.

Insights, By Treatment Type: Rising aesthetic consciousness

Cosmetic treatment contributes 42.1% share of the market due to rising aesthetic consciousness. Within the treatment type segment in the medical tourism market, cosmetic procedures account for the largest segment. There is a strong and growing demand from international patients for cosmetic treatments ranging from breast augmentation to liposuction surgeries. This reflects a general increase in aesthetic consciousness and focus on physical appearance globally. Social media has also normalized the visibility of cosmetic practices. Cosmetic treatments offer major cost savings compared to prices in Western nations for equivalent procedures. The substantial price arbitrage is a major motivating factor for medical travel in this segment. Tourism destinations in Asian countries have flourished by catering to demand for affordable cosmetic options delivered to international quality standards. Leading destinations are famous as hubs for facial aesthetics, body contouring, and skin treatments. Rising disposable incomes, especially in developing countries, have empowered more people to consider aesthetic enhancements. Cosmetic surgery is also less intrusive and risky than other procedures. It yields immediately visible physical transformations that boost self-confidence. This allows patients to quickly return to normal activities after treatment. The cosmetic segment thus sees considerable repeat and referral business compared to therapeutic segments. Its large, growing customer pool makes it the mainstay of the medical tourism industry.

Regional Insights

Medical Tourism Market Regional Insights

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North America has firmly established itself as the dominant regional market for medical tourism with 38.8% of the market share. The presence of world class medical facilities, highly skilled doctors, and the ability to provide a wide range of specialized treatments at globally competitive prices have all contributed to North America's top position. Key markets like the U.S. and Canada have a large pool of Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals with the most advanced medical technologies and equipment. There is a strong emphasis on research and development which has enabled the region to emerge as a leader in complex specialty areas such as oncology, cardiology, and organ transplants

Asia Pacific has emerged as the fastest growing regional market for medical tourists. Countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and India have developed robust medical tourism industries in the last decade by leveraging their competitive advantages. Thailand in particular has experienced exponential growth on the back of initiatives to promote the country as a top Asian destination for wellness and medical travel. It is now the second most popular globally. The region provides high quality healthcare at substantially lower costs compared to Western nations. Various governments offer long term medical visas and have liberal medical licensing policies to attract patients. South East Asian nations also have a language advantage as English is widely spoken. The popularity of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine in select markets is another key attraction.

Market Report Scope

Medical Tourism Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 14.56 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 13.2% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 34.69 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Service Provider: Public and Private
  • By Treatment Type: Orthopedic Treatment , Cosmetic Treatment , Bariatric Treatment , Dental Treatment , Ophthalmology Treatment , Infertility Treatment , Alternative Medicine , and Other Services 
Companies covered:

MOHW Hengchun Tourism Hospital, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bumrungrad International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Raffles Medical Group, Dr. B. L. Kapur Memorial Hospital, Kasemrad Hospital International Rattanathibet, Mission Hospital, Bangkok Hospital, Miot Hospital, Penang Adventist Hospital, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Asian Heart Institute, Barbados Fertility Center, Fortis Healthcare Limited, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, NTT Medical Center Tokyo, and Prince Court Medical Centre

Growth Drivers:
  • Low cost of treatment
  • Advanced medical technologies
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Lack of standardization and regulation across countries
  • Language and cultural barriers

Key Developments

  • In January 2024, Ferns N Petals launched a medical tourism venture, MediJourney.
  • In August 2023, Ayush Visa was launched for foreign travelers to promote medical tourism.
  • In October 2022, Turkish Airlines launched a program to offer weekly medical tours from the U.S. that will cost USD 5,000
  • In August 2022, the government of India listed 10 airports, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Guwahati, to feature special desks, a multi-lingual portal, and simplified visa norms for incoming international passengers visiting India for medical purposes.

*Definition: The medical tourism market involves people from wealthy countries traveling to poorer countries for medical care. Common reasons for medical tourism include obtaining affordable elective procedures like dental treatments, cosmetic surgeries, joint replacements, or heart surgeries. Medical tourists seek high quality care at substantially lower costs than what is available in their home countries.

Market Segmentation

  • Service Provider Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Public
    • Private
  •  Treatment Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Orthopedic Treatment
    • Cosmetic Treatment
    • Bariatric Treatment
    • Dental Treatment
    • Ophthalmology Treatment
    • Infertility Treatment
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Other Services
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • MOHW Hengchun Tourism Hospital
    • Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd.
    • Bumrungrad International Hospital
    • Mount Elizabeth Hospitals
    • Raffles Medical Group
    • Dr. B. L. Kapur Memorial Hospital
    • Kasemrad Hospital International Rattanathibet
    • Mission Hospital
    • Bangkok Hospital
    • Miot Hospital
    • Penang Adventist Hospital
    • Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital
    • Asian Heart Institute
    • Barbados Fertility Center
    • Fortis Healthcare Limited
    • KPJ Healthcare Berhad
    • NTT Medical Center Tokyo
    • Prince Court Medical Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the medical tourism market is projected to be 13.2% from 2024 to 2031.

Low cost of treatment and advanced medical technologies are the major factors driving the growth of the medical tourism market.

Lack of standardization and regulation across countries and language and cultural barriers are the major factors hampering the growth of the medical tourism market.

In terms of service provider, private is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

MOHW Hengchun Tourism Hospital, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bumrungrad International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Raffles Medical Group, Dr. B. L. Kapur Memorial Hospital, Kasemrad Hospital International Rattanathibet, Mission Hospital, Bangkok Hospital, Miot Hospital, Penang Adventist Hospital, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Asian Heart Institute, Barbados Fertility Center, Fortis Healthcare Limited, KPJ Healthcare Berhad, NTT Medical Center Tokyo, and Prince Court Medical Centre are the major players.

Europe is expected to lead the medical tourism market.

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