Tremendous Potential of Medical Tourism

NeW Bureau

Millions of tourists from all over the world travel for medical reasons and visit different destinations each year. Today, popular medical tourist destinations include India, Brunei, Cuba, Columbia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jordan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines etc. due to their natural recourses and excellent quality service together with reduced price.

Tourism, combined with the phrase medical, seems to be a new form of tourism which has gained huge popularity in recent decades. Medical tourism, a rapidly growing market, has been recognized by many countries as a potential sector for economic diversification. Health services are now advertised in a global marketplace.

Medical tourism has emerged from the contemporary medicine and tourism and is seen today by many writers as a new global function. More recently the phrase “Global Healthcare” has emerged and may replace the earlier terms. Hip and knee replacements, ophthalmologic procedures, cosmetic surgery, cardiac care, organ transplants, and stem cell injections are all available for purchase in the global health services marketplace.

cine and tourism and is seen today by many authors as a new global market niche

cine and tourism and is seen today by many authors as a new global market niche.

High medical costs and large waiting lists for medical services in developed countries, as well as affordable prices of traveling altogether with high quality medical services in developing countries have contributed to medical tourism development. The medical tourists mainly come from the rich and the developed countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Japan etc., mainly because of the high cost of the medical treatments as well as the high waiting time.

Venturing abroad for medical care is not a new occurrence for the elites of developed countries. For this social group, the usage of medical care offshore is part of a standard design of intake of foreign goods and services, which in turn possibly cannot be observed. Historically, patients have received health care in the country of their residence, but more recently, medical-related travel to other countries has substantially transformed this traditional mode of health care. As the cost and waiting time for medical treatment has increased in many developed countries, many people view this service as an effective and reliable alternative to expensive private healthcare in the home country. Many combine their treatment with the holiday to their destinations hence the term “medical tourism.”

Though, a number of literatures available with regard to the tourism industry and the competitiveness of the destination, however, the major aspects which determine the satisfaction of medical tourists are hardly focused. Being part of the overall hospitality industry, medical tourism sector requires special focus on their customers for future sustainability.

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