...widespread optimism about the future of medical tourism, especially considering the economic difficulties of the last few years.
London, UK (PRWEB UK) 4 April 2013
A major new survey of the international medical travel sector has found widespread optimism about the future of medical tourism, despite the economic downturn, with travel for cosmetic surgery expected to be the biggest growth area.
The Medical Tourism Climate Survey 2013, carried out for the International Medical Travel Journal, canvassed the views of over 400 clinics, hospitals and medical tourism businesses in 77 countries about the current market for medical tourism and their expectations for the future.
Some of the key findings:
- 60% of clinics, hospitals and medical tourism reported growth in international patient numbers over the last 12 months. 23% saw no increase and 17% experienced a decline.
- 80% expect their international patient numbers to grow over the next 12 months.
- 49% expect annual growth of more than 10% pa in the medical tourism market over the next five years.
- Over the next five years, cosmetic surgery is seen as the biggest growth area for medical travel (cited by 56% of respondents), with dental treatment (43%), cancer treatment (43%) and infertility treatment (40%) also expected to experience significant growth.
- When asked to name the most popular destinations, in terms of patient numbers, the respondents selected India, Thailand and the USA.
- When asked to name the leading destinations in terms of quality and range of services provided to international patients, the respondents ranked the USA, Thailand and Singapore the highest.
- When asked to name the leading source countries for international patients, the respondents named the UK, the USA, and Russia as providing the highest number of patients.
- The respondents believe that the most important factors for medical tourists in choosing a healthcare facility in a particular country are the expertise and qualifications of the doctor/dentist, the cost of treatment, comments and ratings by other patients, and the standard of hospital or clinic accommodation.
Internal and external factors limiting growth
The biggest internal factor considered by the respondents to affect growth of their international patient business is the size of the marketing budget. Lack of marketing expertise was also an important factor.
The biggest external factor considered by the respondents to restrict growth in international patient numbers is lack of government support for medical tourism. Over half the respondents thought that the image of the country/destination had a major or some impact on restricting growth.
Keith Pollard, Managing Editor of the International Medical Travel Journal says the report is a good litmus test of the state of the industry:
“It’s encouraging to know that there is widespread optimism about the future of medical tourism, especially considering the economic difficulties of the last few years. The results suggest that not only is the market currently growing but that it will continue to do so for the next five years or more.
“It’s also good to know that that growth will come in a wide spread of sectors, with cosmetic surgery, dental and fertility treatments expected to see the highest growth.
“There are some areas of concern, however, such as the lack of marketing expertise and marketing activity in international markets, one of the few ways most clinics can reach out to potential new patients and continue to drive growth.”
Purchasing the report
The 80 page report can be purchased from Intuition Communication, publishers of IMTJ for 350 euros. Contact IMTJ for details: sales(at)imtj(dot)com
International Medical Travel Journal (http://www.imtj.com) is the leading business to business journal for the medical travel and medical tourism sector. IMTJ publishes a regular newsletter to around 18,000 people and providers involved in medical travel.