Asian medical tourism income to exceed $5 billion by 2012


With various benefits such as low cost, world-class facilities and comparatively less waiting period, the medical tourism market in Asia is expected to reach US$ 5.4 billion in income by 2012, says a new RNCOS report- Asian Medical Tourism Analysis (2008-2012). 

Medical tourism is emerging as one of the fastest growing markets in Asia, with the rising number of foreign tourists going for treatment to the region. The report says that the medical tourism market has recorded a reasonable growth of around 11% since 2007 to reach US$ 3.8 billion income in 2008. Annual growth between 2009 and 2012 is predicted at 14%. The medical tourism industry in the region is growing at double-digit growth rate, outstripping the 4% to 6% growth in general travel bookings.

“The patients are ready to take up treatments in countries like Thailand, India, and Singapore despite the financial crisis that erodes the purchasing power of the foreign tourists,” says a research analyst at RNCOS.

Countries that are the most sought after destinations for the medical tourists arriving in Asia are - Malaysia, India, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and South Korea. Thailand and Singapore are the leading destinations for medical tourism that together accounted for 64% of the total Asian medical tourism market in 2008. However the research says India will emerge as one of the fastest growing medical tourism countries, accounting for around 25% of the region’s medical tourism by 2012.

These countries offer various complex treatments at affordable costs. The cost of some highly sophisticated treatments such as hip replacement or heart valve replacement is 8-10 times lower in India and Thailand than in the United States. Also, foreign tourists get their treatment done in the Asian countries like Thailand and India in a week or two, whereas it takes nearly a year to get treated in developed countries, says the report.

The future prospect of the medical tourism industry seems encouraging. Asian countries will continue leveraging from their highly developed health infrastructure such as well-qualified medical professionals, internationally accredited healthcare institutions and hotspot destinations. The Asian region, mainly being India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea is expected to receive 6.1 million medical tourists by the end of 2012.

The report provides a deep insight about the emerging medical tourism markets in Asia, the market trends responsible for the present performance of the industry and the future growth potential of the industry. It provides key information to clients looking ahead to venture into these markets as well as helps them to plan out strategies before going for an investment/partnership in the concerned markets.

RNCOS is a specialist independent market research firm based in Delhi. The 110-page report costs from $ 1400 for an electronic PDF and $ 1700 for hard copy or CD-ROM.  



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