Due to the availability of world-class medical infrastructure and skilled manpower, Asian medical tourism market is expected to be worth around US$ 9.1 Billion by 2012, RNCOS identified.

PRLog (Press Release)Jan 04, 2011 – According to our latest report entitled “Asian Medical Tourism Analysis (2008-2012)”, the Asian medical tourism industry is currently growing at a double-digit growth rate. The availability of world-class healthcare infrastructure and skilled medical professionals along with low cost treatments are some of the key factors that are driving the market growth. The growth momentum is expected to continue in future also and it is expected that around 5.6 Million health tourists will visit Asian countries by 2012 spending around US$ 9.1 Billion in return.
The report has covered current market performance and analysis of the key Asian countries such as, Thailand, Singapore, India, Malaysia, South Korea, and the Philippines. These countries have witnessed a significant development in the area of health tourism on the back of the government support and private investments. It is estimated that more than 4.3 Million medical tourists will visit these countries during 2010, generating combined revenue worth over US$ 6.7 Billion.

Our report has found out that India can be regarded as the most attractive and potential medical destination in key Asian countries. India has the advantage of well-known hospital chains that offer splendid range of health services and treatments at low prices. Patients from developed countries such as, the US, Germany, and the UK prefer to visit India due to English speaking population and attractive tourist places.

The report “Asian Medical Tourism Analysis (2008-2012)” covers all the important aspects of health tourism market in Asian countries providing statistics and an in-depth analysis of the key regions and segments. The report also provides comprehensive research and unbiased analysis of current market performance and future outlook. The future projection in key segments and variables has been calculated after proper utilization of effective methods and techniques. Analysis of key market trends that may have an impact on the overall market performance has also been covered. Besides, description and recent developments of key market players has been discussed.

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DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA The East Africa Health Federation on Healthcare has revealed that medical travel and medical tourism is now worth a whopping US$60 million in the East African region annually.

The industry becomes the fastest growing with the countries such as India, Thailand and Malaysia of the Asian sub-continent being most attractive for the patients from East Africa countries.

Medical Tourism, or ‘global healthcare’ as it’s increasingly called, involves traveling to a foreign country for a medical procedure.

Speaking to the East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam last week, the chairman of the East Africa Health and Medical Advisory Council, Dr Amit Thakker said the main driving forces for the flow of patients are low costs and high quality.

“This sector becomes one of the fast growing industries in the EAC region by almost 15% which is equivalent to $60 billion annually,” said Dr Thakker.

In Tanzania hundreds of patients fly to get heart and other operation in India annually when they could have been treated locally if all was well.

He said poor quality of services being offered by our local hospitals and health centers, which cost the lives of patients, are among the reasons which forces medical tourism to grow very fast.

He noted that every year some 8.8 million children and newborns die from preventable causes, and nearly 350,000 women perish due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth.

Dr Thakker told the East African Business Week during a fair which brought together about 70 experts from the health industry in the East African region.

The fair unites the Kenya Health Federation, Uganda Health Federation and Medical Association of Tanzania focused on quality healthcare in East Africa and affordability.

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By Ally Hamisi, EA Business Week

For years Taiwan’s citizens and tourists alike have been bemused by the tourism bureau’s motto — “Taiwan, Touch Your Heart.” But with the island’s government pushing to attract a new class of tourists, the phrase may soon start to seem more apt.

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, President Ma Ying-jeou said the government planned to get serious about drawing visitors to the island, not for its night market eats or museums, but to undergo medical procedures like heart surgery or fertility treatment. The announcement represents a potential turning point in Taiwan’s efforts to grab a slice of the US$40 billion medical tourism market.

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Around 90,000 people flew to Taiwan last year for medical reasons, which was about only 1% of the island’s medical revenue. But a look at some of the island’s more aggressive neighbors shows there’s plenty of room for growth: Singapore hosted 410,000 “medical travelers” in 2009, while Bumrungrad in Thailand also received 400,000 foreign patients that year, according to Patients Beyond Borders, a Boston-based agency advocating global medical tourism.

Taiwan has been slow to take advantage of growth in medical tourism thanks largely to a combination of poor promotion and planning with fears of inviting contagious diseases from abroad.

In an effort to make Taiwan more competitive in the market, Mr. Ma said, medical tourism would soon be handled by a new committee at the legislature level–much higher than the department of health, which had previously been responsible for the sector but isn’t powerful enough to coordinate international policy-making within the government.

Ma also pledged to increase funding for international marketing, although he didn’t say by how much.

Taiwan’s government has pumped around NT$15 million, or roughly US$493,830, into a government-backed taskforce on medical tourism every year since its inception in 2007. That funding — which is intended to cover all international marketing activities in addition to the taskforce’s daily operating expenses – is piddling compared to Singapore, whose government earmarks around US$100 million for the management and promotion of medical tourism every year.

With restrictions on mainland Chinese tourists fast diminishing, the island could see a surge in medical tourists. Given growing wealth in China—and, since mainland Chinese pay in yuan, the potential for foreign-exchange gains–the windfall for Taiwan could be huge.

“When people talk about Taiwan, they think of its food, but not its healthcare services,” Patients Beyond Borders’ chairman Josef Woodman told China Real Time. “What you need to do is to promote, promote and promote.”

Wu Ming-yeh, a physician who is also secretary of the taskforce on medical tourism, said: “Hopefully, with the increased funding, we can put ads in newspapers overseas, which will certainly help promote us.”

Taiwan has the attributes of a good medical tourism destination — it is safe, located a few hours by plane from other major Asian cities, and boasts a number of western-trained doctors who speak English. In an effort to leverage Taiwan’s easy accessibility by air, the government has announced plans to build a NT$2 billion medical facility near the Taoyuan international airport, although investors have yet to be found for the project.

First, though, the island has a more basic change to make: “They could put up more signs in English inside the hospitals and launch English Web sites detailing their services and pricing.”

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By Aries Poon, WSJ


Donna DeJesus suffered serious injuries while on vacation in the Bahamas that hurt her both physically and financially.

DeJesus and her daughter Starr were in Nassau, taking a cab back to their cruise ship two weeks ago when the taxi crashed.  The cab’s brakes didn’t work and none of the passengers were wearing their seatbelts.

Donna needed a hip replacement and suffered a broken leg.  In fact, she’s had so many injuries, she’s lost count.  She footed the $21,000 bill to be Med-Flighted from the Bahamas to Mass. General Hospital and her bills near $30,000.  Her insurance company can’t help her out because the injuries happened out of the country.

The good news is that Donna is expected to recover.  She tells us that she’s not looking forward to a big trip anytime soon, however.

Whatever your reason, international travel should be a pleasant experience. Complications and emergencies such as illness, injury, and natural disaster are a fact of life.  While we hope none of these happen, we’re here to help if they do.  Atlas Travel help protect you from potential financial disaster while traveling abroad with benefits including inpatient and outpatient medical expenses, $500,000 of coverage for emergency medical evacuation, coverage for lost checked baggage, and many other important benefits.  Atlas travel gives you the peace-of-mind you’re looking for!

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By FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com

First of its kind international conference on differently abled with participation from more than 40 tourist companies, health resorts, rehabilitation centres and hotels from 13 countries will be held in Moscow.

The conference will discuss issues of insurance, transportation, accommodation and juridical aspects of tourism for disabled people here.

The main aim of the conference, as its organizers say, is to “encourage the development of medical tourism and tourism for disabled people in the Russian market, attract attention of tourist companies to this kind of tourism, promote the expansion of possibilities of rest and treatment for people who suffer from different ailments and need special services.”

President of the Russian Tourist Industry Union Sergei Shpilko stressed that “medical tourism is a very perspective direction in the development of the tourist sector, however, it just begins developing in Russia.”

According the Ministry of Health and Social Development, there are some 14.5 million of disabled people in Russia, which makes about 10 percent of the whole population of the country.

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By Phillip Butler, www.argophilia.com

JCI, Chicago Illinois, November 5 – Medical tourism statistics revealed an anticipated growth of the industry from about $40 billion in 2004 to $100 billion by the year 2012. The estimate was made by the Confederation of India and the McKinsey Company. Among U.S citizens, liposuction ranks number two in offshore cosmetic procedures.

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Asia as a Favorite Medical Tourism Destination

 “Why travel abroad to get medical treatment?” I ask this question Raina (real name withheld) an aspiring commercial model who admitted she had just undergo rhinoplasty in Bangkok. “Having just had a head start in my career, I would say that my primary objective was to seek lower costs as my primary consideration” The aforementioned statement is just one of the contributing factors to the steady rise of offshore medical procedures in Asia.

 Singapore and Thailand are gaining prominence in medical tourism. Singapore health care system was ranked 6th best in the world and 1st in Asia by World Health Organization. While Thailand on the other hand fully equipped their hospitals with linguists medical staff which is very convenient and helpful to medical tourists. 

  Tyra Sinclair a resident in Maine, who had just returned from India, underwent a chin reduction liposuction in Bangkok.  “Before undergoing this procedure, I inquired several beauty clinics online and my operation will cost me US$100, 00, that is a whopping difference from US$12,000 I paid way back in India. One thing more what makes Bangkok the best choice was their beautiful beaches, now that’s what we call a package” Sinclair candidly added.

 It was another case for Mr. Weiss, retired postmaster, who underwent hip surgery in Phyathai Hospital in Bangkok. “My insurance does not cover the surgery my doctor advised me to undergo, my daughter accompanies me to go to Bangkok, and in return she had her liposuction done there too”.

 Medical tourism gaining popularity is a result of the consumer’s patronage. But certain precautions must be practiced all the time to ensure the consumer right, and that is a safe medical and cosmetic procedure.

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By Jullian Guilliard, release-news.com

Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA) While rescue workers were busy searching for a group of Chinese tourists missing in eastern Taiwan, another group of Chinese nationals were enjoying a leisurely checkup in the serenity of a hospital in the country’s capital.

The group of 25 tourists, mostly middle-aged women in the beauty and cosmetics business, completed a detailed health exam Monday morning at Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, said Alex Hung, president of Shin Kong Medical Club.

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The experience was so enjoyable, Hung said, that some members of the group canceled the sightseeing part of their trip to squeeze in more health tests Tuesday.

“In China, a hospital is a place for sick people, ” said a woman who would only identify herself by her surname Qian. She described the Taiwanese hospital as being more like home, with the strong aroma of coffee replacing the usual smell of disinfectant.

This group of medical tourists from Nanjing arrived in Taiwan Friday, a day after nearly 300 Chinese nationals were stranded on the scenic Suhua Highway on the east coast because of landslides triggered by Typhoon Megi.

Most of them have since been evacuated to safety, but 20 of them remained unaccounted for as of Monday night.

When asked whether the incident had any impact on her plan to come to Taiwan, Qian replied that initially her family had had qualms about her journey, but once a scheduled trip to the eastern part of Taiwan was scrapped, she jumped at the opportunity.

The Chinese visitors would not reveal how much they paid for the tour, but each had to first pay a membership fee of NT$177,890 (US$5,834) to join the Taiwanese-invested, Guangzhou-based Zion Health Control and Youth Rejuvenation Center (ZION).

ZION’s stated purpose is to promote Taiwan’s medical tourism to upscale consumers in China, offering them medical services at the centers on the mainland and bringing them to Taiwan for more thorough checkups once a year.

According to ZION CEO Tomson Lin, at least two groups of Chinese travelers will come to Taiwan every month for medical checkups beginning in December, boosting the country’s medical tourism industry.

Lin explained that for medical tourism to flourish in Taiwan, promoting low-risk health checkups is a first step.

“Not only does it build up consumers’ confidence, it is also easily accepted by most people,” he said.

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(By Nancy Liu) ENDITEM/ls

Thailand has launched a new portal for visitors to find information on medical tourism in the country as it seeks to position itself as a global leader in the field. 

 The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently launched the site to provide visitors with all of the information they could need on medical treatments in Thailand, from carotid angioplasty to tummy tucks.

 The website, at www.thailandmedtourism.com, collects and provides information on medical tourism providers in Thailand, including hospitals, clinics and spas.

 Traditional Thai medicine practitioners are also listed on the site with their level of accreditation and standard, said TAT.

 Visitors can sort by destination and also view associated travel options such as hotels, apartments and restaurants, with authorities hoping that additional choices will boost both interest and trip length to Thailand.

 The website is the first part of a marketing campaign which will see blogger reviews, treatment discounts and a campaign to emphasize the credibility and safety of medical services in the country.

 Boosting medical tourism was just one of the tactics outlined by TAT earlier this year when it unveiled its plan to rebuild Thailand’s popularity as a tourist destination after the civil unrest in the country in April.

 Authorities hope that Thailand can join the ranks of established medical tourism destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and India.

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(By Relaxnews)

For decades, U.S. residents have crossed the border in search of cheap dentistry, alternative health care and pharmacies providing easy access to prescription drugs.

Now, health providers in Tijuana say they have much more to offer in the way of sophisticated medical office procedures and hospital care, and have created business groups aimed at getting that word out to U.S. consumers.

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“In the past, the focus was on low cost. But in the last five years, doctors have been offering more complex treatments, hiring more bilingual personnel and doing more professional marketing,” said Flavio Olivieri, executive director of the Tijuana Industrial and Economic Development Corp. and cofounder of the Tijuana Medical Tourism Association.

The biggest draw still is low cost, medical tourism experts said, with fees for services such as dentistry, laser eye surgery, plastic surgery, cancer treatment and bariatric weight-loss procedures generally running 40 percent to 70 percent lower than in the U.S. Dental implants that may cost $2,800 north of the border can be as low as $800 in Mexico, while a $50,000 hip replacement in the U.S. could run $13,000 down south.

Olivieri said the marketing campaign is critical in helping Tijuana recover from a drastic drop in cross-border visitors. Long waits into and out of Mexico have traditionally been a problem, but crossings plunged in 2008 with the recession and a surge in drug-related violence in the Tijuana region, followed in 2009 by travel warnings when the H1N1 flu proved deadly in central Mexico.

“The market shrank overnight,” said Olivieri, a speaker on medical tourism Monday at Tijuana Innovadora, a two-week, $5 million conference aimed at boosting the international profile and economic clout of one of Mexico’s largest metropolitan areas.

Today, the flu is a vague memory and perception of Tijuana as a violent city held hostage by warring drug gangs is beginning to wane. Homicides dropped from a high of 844 killings in 2008 to 664 in 2009 and 638 as of last week, in part because of a coordinated crackdown by military and civilian authorities.

According to the Baja California Secretary of Tourism, about 250,000 people a month visit Tijuana for health products and medical services, most of them Californians.

Roughly 60 percent are Hispanics living in the U.S. The next largest group is people seeking alternative medical treatments, followed by “Anglo middle-income Americans” wanting high-quality yet low-cost care.

It’s the last segment that Mexican government and business groups are targeting, with the hope that more multi-day medical visitors will fuel the local economy.

The Baja tourism office, the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau, and new medical tourism business groups in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito Beach and Ensenada are working on promotional strategies.

“The expectation is that medical tourism is one of the most promising sectors in Baja California,” said Patrick Osio, vice president of the Baja California Medical Tourism Association, a San Diego-based nonprofit that promotes south-of-the-border medical services to Southern Californians. “(Practitioners) just haven’t known how to promote themselves.”

The 119-bed private Hospital Angeles focused on just such medical tourists when it opened in 2004, said business development director Carlos Zavala. The facility offers private rooms, a medical fitness center, an auditorium and gardens.

Seventy-five percent of patients came from the U.S. until more local people learned about the hospital, Zavala said. The numbers of U.S. inpatients has held steady at 100 to 150 per month, he said.

Most foreigners come for weight-loss surgeries — lap band, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve — although they also come for orthopedic, neurological and cardiac procedures.

The hospital is certified by the Mexican General Board of Health, and Zavala said it is seeking to raise its international standing by applying for accreditation from Joint Commission International, a branch of the Joint Commission, the largest hospital accreditation program in the U.S.

The hospital has gotten some foreign patients through medical tourism companies and has now formed its own company to offer travel, accomodations and other services to foreign patients.

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(By Janet Lavelle, signonsandiego.com)

Eight-to-ten years ago, medical tourism was hardly large enough to be noticed. Today, more than 200,000 patients per year visit Singapore alone and nearly half of them are from the Middle East.

This year, approximately half-a-million foreign patients are expected to travel to India for medical care, whereas in 2002, the number was only 150,000. This gives an idea about the rate of growth of this industry that has been showing a northward trend in the last couple of years.

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Factors that have accelerated medical tourism include the high cost of health care, long wait times for certain procedures, the ease and affordability of international travel, and improvements in both technology and standards of care in many countries

Medical tourism gives medical tourists worldwide an opportunity to get the best quality treatment. Mainly patients who need cosmetic plastic surgery, medical surgery and dental surgery travel to other country to get treatment in lower cost. While the lower cost is the primary motivation to travel abroad, some medical tourist seeks medical care overseas because of immediate availability of procedures and sometime unavailability of certain procedures.

Patients have genuine reasons to seek out care beyond the United States. There are some regions of the world where medical facilities are hard to come by, if they exist at all and in some countries, health-care system for public is so overburdened that it can take years to get needed care. In Britain and Canada, for instance, the waiting period for a hip replacement can be a year or more, while in Bangkok or Bangalore, a patient can be in the operating room the morning after getting off a plane.

Now more and more patients from USA are opting to undergo medical treatment abroad for procedures such as: heart bypasses, fertility treatments and face lifts. Every patient avoids travelling but due to the high cost of medical treatment in the USA, many American patients are going abroad for medical treatments. Their purpose is to save money on medical treatment conducted by doctors who are often trained in the United States, at hospitals that maintain the precise standards of patient care and safety.

A research shows that in 2006, about 150,000 American citizens traveled to Latin America and Asia for medical treatment. The figure increased to approximately 300,000 in 2007 and by 2010, experts say that the number could increase to well over 1 million.

(By Don Pathak, Internatinal Business Times)

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