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Global travel spending: What does it mean for medical travel?

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The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the UN agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism, reveals that global tourism grew by four percent in 2012. Totaling US$1,075 billion, travel spending suggests concomitant growth in the medical travel industry. Simply, the health and wellness sector derives growth from increased spending in tourism.

Among the emerging economies, Thailand (+25%) reported the highest growth in its tourism sector. It is closely followed by India (+22%), South Africa (+18%), Vietnam (+18%), Egypt (+14%), Poland (+13%), and Ukraine (+13%). While there is no separate research to determine medical travel figures, logically, growth medical tourism could only follow growth in global tourism. Among world cities, Bangkok has been cited the most visited country for health and wellness purposes.

 

 

More about medical travel in emerging economy destinations

Thailand expects to earn US$8 billion in medical travel dollars from 2010 to 2014. The country is home to Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital, a 22-floor institution with over 30 specialty centers. It accepts over a million local and international patients per year.

Meanwhile, India also has an extensive healthcare system, which is guided by the principle: “The guest is God.” Surgical treatments in India are far more affordable than those in the US. For instance, a heart valve replacement costing $200,000 in the US will cost between $10,000 to 14,000 in New Delhi.

These are the added benefits travelers get, apart from their tourist experience. Hence, to the burgeoning global tourism industry has resulted in an acute awareness that healthcare cannot be monopolized by a single country. Increased travel spending for health reasons also implies a reversal of popular wisdom: cheap doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality.

 

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Satori World Medical arranges medical travels to emerging health and wellness havens such as Thailand, Mexico, and Turkey. This website provides more information.

The medical travel boom in Malaysia

In spite of the recently ended economic downturn that affected most countries and many industries around the world, the medical travel industry in Malaysia is undergoing exceptional growth in all medical treatment fields.

 

 

This growth is probably due to the influx of medical travelers from around the world, many of whom have come from developed countries like the US, where health care is far more expensive.

In their latest research study, which take into account the identification and decipherment of market dynamics, RNCOS analysts saw that the market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 13 percent from 2013 to 2017. Revenue growth is said to be driven by factors like cost-effective treatments, government support, and highly skilled medical professionals.

 

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Image Source: tourism-review.com

 

The study also includes a comprehensive study of current market scenario, taking into account existing medical infrastructure, human resources, and technological breakthroughs; different drivers and characteristics of the market; and an in-depth cost comparison that compares Malaysia with other medical travel destinations around the world.

 

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Image Source: mymedholiday.com

 

Satori World Medical is the premier medical travel services provider in the US. It allows patients access to state-of-the-art medical facilities in eight countries and in Puerto Rico, all of which meet or exceed US quality standards. For more information about the premium medical travel services that Satori offers, visit its website.

Rwanda aims to be the medical travel destination in Africa

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To boost the country’s coffers, Rwanda aims to be the premier medical travel destination in Africa. However, in order to do that, the country has to attract more investors to build more world-class facilities similar to what they have in the country right now.

 

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The country is doing this to further revitalize its travel industry, hoping to attract millions of African patients from across the continent. Currently, its travel industry is seeing a slow but steady growth, seeing a 22-percent increase in 2012 compared with that in 2011. Its government believes that medical travel is the key that can help them further enhance the growth of its travel sector. But before it can transform itself into a premier medical travel destination, it needs better hospitals, highly trained personnel to operate those hospitals, and better medical practitioners and specialists, and since the government does not have enough money to do so, it has to rely on foreign investors to do it for them. Building Rwanda to better handle the influx of medical travelers will also benefit the locals, as currently, there is a shortage of doctors and health care waiting time is long.

 

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However, transforming Rwanda into a medical travel hub is more than just getting investors to build facilities; there has to be synergy between the government and the private sector for this to succeed.

Satori World Medical, US’ leading medical travel services company, features state-of-the-art hospitals in eight countries and the US territory of Puerto Rico. For more information on medical travel and how it can change your life, visit this website right now.

The rise of Turkey as a medical travel hub

Image Source: lonelyplanet.combul

Image Source: lonelyplanet.combul

 

When people think of Turkey, images of beautiful Mediterranean sunsets, mesmerizing people, sumptuous Ottoman cuisine, and mysterious mosques and churches come to mind. A country where east meets the west, Turkey is also known for its exotic beauty and the hospitality of its people. Today, with significant government support, it is adding another notch to its already famous belt – becoming a premier medical travel destination.

 

Image Source: healthinturkey.org

Image Source: healthinturkey.org

 

Aiming to make $7 billion in revenue from medical travelers in 2015 and $20 billion in 2023, Turkey’s Ministry of Health plans to enact new laws that would allow the creation of health free-zones (similar to duty-free zones, but with a health care twist) that could improve Turkey’s medical travel offerings, allowing it to establish itself as one of the best medical travel destinations in Eurasia. Furthermore, the government also plans to give tax, investment, and planning advantages to medical companies, hospitals, and other institutions that set up shop in these health free-zones.

Medical travel adoption is quickly accelerating, changing people’s lives by providing affordable, high-quality health care. With this lofty goal, Turkey aims to be at the forefront of that change, making a difference in its role as a prime medical travel destination in Eurasia.

 

Image Source: medicaltourismmag.com

Image Source: medicaltourismmag.com

 

Satori World Medical, established in 2008, is the leading provider of medical travel services in the US. From the first phone call to the trip back home, Satori does all the legwork, taking care of everything and allowing patients to just focus on their recovery. More information about the Satori medical travel experience can be found at this website.

Understanding destination attractiveness in medical travel

Image Source: hqmedicaltravel.com

Image Source: hqmedicaltravel.com

 

A lot of medical travel service companies tout low-cost, high-quality medical travel services using the latest technologies as a competitive advantage for consumers to choose their services over competitors’. However, low-cost, high-quality healthcare is only a part of a bigger picture—something called destination attractiveness.

Destination attractiveness influences a patient when choosing a medical travel service or destination; it consists of the following factors:

Geographical proximity. The nearer a medical destination is to a patient’s home country, the better the chances that he will choose it.

Cultural proximity. Patients tend to choose countries that have a culture similar to theirs because it might be easier for them to adapt and communicate with the locals.

Destination image. Patients also take into account a destination’s reputation.

 

Image Source: designmynight.com

Image Source: designmynight.com

 

Destination infrastructure. Patients take into consideration a destination’s infrastructure, which is not limited to clinic or hospital facilities.

Destination environment. Climate and available attractions can also influence a patient’s choice of medical travel destination.

Risk and reward. Patients will also weigh the risks and rewards of having a procedure done at a medical destination, often checking for track records and safety rates.

Price. As with most things, price is also taken into consideration. This might include cost of treatment, travel, and stay.

Understanding how patients choose their medical travel services and destinations is important and may prove useful for companies wanting to better tailor their services to the needs of their customers.

 

Image Source: hqmedicaltravel.com

Image Source: hqmedicaltravel.com

 

Satori World Medical ensures that its customers get the very best healthcare possible by making sure that the services provided by its International Centers of Excellence are up to par or exceed that of the hospitals in the US. More information about the International Centers of Excellence can be found at the Satori website.

Thailand: The grandaddy of medical travel

Image Source: bbc.co.uk

Image Source: bbc.co.uk

 

Today, more and more Americans are realizing the financial benefit of going outside the country to have expensive medical procedures performed. Because of this boom, many hospitals overseas have tried upgrading their facilities and services to match, if not exceed the quality of those found in the US, giving patients more options when it comes to choosing their country of preference. Of worthy note are some Asian countries, like Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and India, which are gaining ground in the medical travel industry.

But if history is to be traced back, Asian medical travel was actually initiated by Thailand; other countries just followed suit.

In 2002, Thailand became the first Asian country to achieve the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation. This status certified that accredited hospitals reached the minimum standards of excellence which are likewise being asked from US hospitals, thus ensuring international patients that whatever services they receive are on par with (or even exceed) US standards. At present, there are already over 40 JCI accredited hospitals in Thailand, making it one of the most attractive destinations for prospective medial travelers.

 

Image Source: thaimedtour.com

Image Source: thaimedtour.com

 

Because of Thailand’s experience advantage, the country has been serving more foreign medical customers than its own. According to 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) data, Thailand provided medical services for as many as 420,000 medical travelers, beating Singapore who has just then claimed the title “medical hub of Asia.”

Numbers aside, Thailand is also taking on a leadership position when it comes to establishing ties among Asian countries that are providing medical travel services. Earlier this year, the Thai Medical Tourism Association (TMTA) was the first to officially jump on board the newly formed Asia Medical Travel Council (AMTRAC), a governing body that oversees the medical travel situation in its member countries, which include Thailand, India, Malaysia, South Korea, and Singapore.

 

Image Source: mymedholiday.com

Image Source: mymedholiday.com

 

Satori World Medical is a premier medical travel agency which provides patients the option to take advantage of cost-effective and high-quality medical care abroad. Learn more about these services by visiting Satori’s official website.

Factors that hinder the growth of medical travel in countries

Medical facilities and services have become an important factor to the development of tourism worldwide. The governments of various countries are re-examining the strengths of their hospitals and the quality of care that they provide, searching for areas that they can invest in for further development, as they highlight the unique features of their country in advertisements – all in an effort to become more attractive to health and medical travelers.

 

 

Indeed, there is much at stake with the development of medical tourism in countries. Growth in this sector has great potential in boosting the economic resilience of a nation due to the generation of jobs. However, in spite of the best efforts of many countries, there are still many factors that can impede the growth of their medical travel industry.

Government policy and regulations on tourism continue to play an important part in the development of medical travel. A country may wish to attract more people to its hospitals, but too strict policies on tourism may drive a significant number of foreign patients away.

 

Image Source: traveldailynews.com

Image Source: traveldailynews.com

 

Meanwhile, the details related to quality of care remain invisible to travelers when the country has a reputation of being unsafe. Medical travelers do not interact solely with the medical institutions when they come to visit, and so increasing efforts in reducing crime and violence is necessary for growth in the sector.

Other than concerns on safety and the quality of care, comfort and convenience also remain a priority for many medical travelers. Factors like the availability of rental cars, the state of hotels, or the presence of ATMs that accept Visa credit cards can affect the consumer’s decision to travel to a certain country.

 

Image Source: deluxevent.com

Image Source: deluxevent.com

 

For news about the growth of medical travel in various countries, visit Satori World Medical’s official website.