Medical Tourism is a large and ever growing segment of the healthcare and tourism industries. Traditionally patients from wealthier countries travel to poorer ones with reputations for good healthcare in order to have medical procedures done at a lower rate than at home. Alternatively many destinations have marketed their medical facilities as part of a vacation. Why not recuperate on a beach or on a nature reserve versus in a hospital in an urban setting?
In the past it has been difficult to measure how large the medical tourism industry is and the effects that it has on individual countries but that’s changing.
The Medical Tourism Index, which measures the attractiveness of a country for medical travel along three key dimensions and 34 underlying criteria, concluded that Canada topped the lists for “Country Environment” and “Medical Tourism Costs”; Costa Rica and Jamaica for “Destination Attractiveness”; and Israel and Singapore for “Medical Facility and Service.” It should be noted that the only other Asia nation to make a Top 5 list was the Philippines which came in number 3 for “Medical Tourism Costs”.
Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Singapore and Costa Rica have been ranked as the most attractive destinations for medical tourism in 2014 for healthcare seekers contemplating affordable treatment options according to the International Healthcare Research Center.
“This instrument makes a significant contribution so far as providing unbiased information about medical tourism across the globe,” said Renée- Marie Stephano, President of the Medical Tourism Association®, who announced the conclusions at the 7th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress in Washington, D.C. “This information provides not only what patients need to know when planning a medical journey overseas, but serves as a valuable tool for governments, employers and insurance companies, hospitals and doctors, facilitators and related travel and hospitality industries throughout the world.”
The 2014 Medical Tourism Index considered 30 countries – about 60 percent of the world’s population — from Africa, Asia, Central America, Middle East, South America and North America.
“Many countries are touting their healthcare services, costs, safety and security, and locations to attract foreign patients,” said Marc Fetscherin, co-developer of the Medical Tourism Index and associate professor of international business and marketing at Rollins College. “IHRC – through the Medical Tourism Index and related analysis – serves as a trusted and evidence-based support mechanism to achieve their goals.”
For the complete 2014 Medical Tourism Index, go to: www.medicaltourismindex.com/