Future

A 2016 report by the VISA and Oxford Economics found that the global medical tourism industry is presently valued at US$ 439 billion, with a 25% annual growth projection estimate.

The report studied available data on cross-border expenditure using dates of VISA transaction in 176 countries and found that 11 million people, each year, travel abroad for medical treatment. A 3-4% is the actual world population that travels for medical purposes, contributing US$ 3 trillion per year to the global medical tourism industry. If the current rates continue, an annual earning of the same will be a regular every year till 2025.

A number of reasons force people to travel abroad for medical treatments, including better quality of care, cost-effective services and treatments, or for obtaining medications or surgeries that are not available in their respective countries. The report also states that many tourists combine traditional sightseeing in attractive destinations with medical treatments.

Data from 2016 report by the Medical Tourism Index (MTI) lists top countries in terms of their medical tourism values and quality. Canada tops the list with UK, Israel, Singapore and Costa Rica following.

Patients Beyond Borders lists the top destinations that ensure the highest percentage of savings in comparison to the US:
1) India (65 – 90 %)
– Medical tourism hubs: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad.
– Leading Specialties: Cardiology and heart surgery, dentistry, fertility and reproductive medicine, health screening, neurology and spine surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, transplant, weight loss surgery, wellness and prevention.
– Typical Savings (over USD retail): 65%–90%
– Standards and Affiliations: British Medical Association; General Medical Council; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Indian Healthcare Federation; Indian Medical Association; National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers; Quality Council of India.
– International Accreditation: Joint Commission International.

2) Malaysia (60 – 80%)
– Medical tourism hubs: Kuala Lumpur, Subang Jaya, Georgetown.
– Leading Specialties: Cardiology and heart surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, health screening, neurology and spine surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, transplant, weight loss surgery, wellness and prevention.
– Typical Savings (over USD retail): 60%–80%
– Standards and Affiliations: Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia; Malaysian Society for Quality in Health; Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council.
– International Accreditation: Joint Commission International.

3) Thailand (50 – 75%)
– Medical tourism hubs: Bangkok, Phuket, Chonburi.
– Leading Specialties: Cardiology and heart surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, fertility and reproductive medicine, gender reassignment, health screening, neurology and spine surgery, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, weight loss surgery, wellness and prevention.
– Standards and Affiliations: Thailand Health System Research Institute; Institute of Hospital Quality Improvement and Accreditation; National Health Commission Office; Thailand Ministry of Public Health; Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Thailand; Thai Association of Orthodontists.
– International Accreditation: Joint Commission International.

4) Turkey (50-65%)
– Medical tourism hubs: Ankara, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli.
– Leading Specialties Cardiology and heart surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, health screening, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, transplant, wellness and prevention.
– Typical Savings (over USD retail): 50%–65%
– Standards and Affiliations: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health; Turkish Board of Healthcare Professionals; Turkish Medical Association; Turkish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
– International Accreditation: Joint Commission International.

5) Costa Rica (45 – 65%)
– Medical tourism hubs: San José, Escazú.
– Leading Specialties: Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, health screening, orthopedics, weight loss surgery, wellness and prevention.
– Typical Savings (over USD retail): 45%–65%
– Standards and Affiliations Costa Rican Department of Social Insurance; Council for the International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine; Ministry of Health, Costa Rica International Accreditation ; Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care; American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities.
– International Accreditation: Joint Commission International.