ASIA MEDICAL TOURISM INDUSTRY OUTLOOK FOR 2015
Asia is currently the number one medical tourism choice destination in the world. It is one of the most lucrative markets that is expected to see a remarkable growth this year and the coming years. Its accessibility to world-class healthcare facilities, expert doctors, nurses and support staff, coupled with its lower treatment cost compared with European and American medical facilities is expected to help boost the region’s medical tourism industry.
According to a report on Asian medical tourism, among the choice medical tourism destinations in Asia, Thailand is the number one choice, followed by India and Singapore. The Philippines and Malaysia also receive thousands of foreign patients each year.
In 2010 for instance, Thailand posted the largest foreign arrivals of medical tourists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), followed by those coming from Qatar and Oman.
Thailand’s Bumrungrad Hospital captured the most number of foreign patients from over 190 countries generating millions of dollar in revenues. Piyavate Hospital was the second choice destination in Thailand treating thousands of foreign patients as well.
As the second largest medical tourism hub in Asia, India’s internationally certified hospitals which are equipped with the latest healthcare technology, its qualified English speaking medical and support staff, less waiting time, availability of private rooms, and most importantly its lower treatment cost that could go as low as 60-80% less than its cost in Europe and the US have made India the second choice destination in Asia, following Thailand.
The Apollo Hospitals, the second largest hospital network in India got the most number of foreign patients in 2010. The healthcare network operates 54 hospitals and medical centers in India. Max Healthcare, the second largest hospital group in India came next to the Apollo Hospitals through its 8 hospitals and medical centers.
Singapore’s 21 JCI accredited hospitals for its part, make the country one of the oldest choice destinations for medical treatment among the affluent from countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Cardiology, ophthalmology and oncology are the leading services for which Singapore has achieved specialization. The country also has a booming dental market. Singapore is generally preferred for more intricate medical procedures such as oncology treatment and transplants. Singapore generally caters to the high end medical treatment. And since it caters to more expensive procedures compared to other medical tourism destinations, it could register less number of medical patients, but earns higher revenue.
Malaysia attracts the most number of foreign patients from Indonesia, although it also attracts patients from Singapore, Japan, US and Europe. The Philippines also has its share of foreign patients from the US, Europe and Asia. Its premier medical facilities like St. Luke’s Medical Center, the Makati Medical Center, The Medical City and Asian Hospital among others continue to attract patients from various countries.
South Korea’s capital Seoul for its part, received the most number of foreign patients followed by Gyeonggi and andDaegu. The leading hospitals in South Korea that continue to attract foreign patients are Samsung Medical Center, Cheong Shim International Medical Center, Asan Medical Center, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital and Hanyang University Medical Center.