According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, " Medical Tourism Market by Treatment Type: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2023–2032," the global medical tourism market was valued at $97,311.04 million in 2022 and is projected to reach $273,722.42 million by 2032, registering a CAGR of 10.1% from 2023 to 2032. In terms of volume, the global medical tourism market accounted for 21,110.54 thousand patients in 2022, and is projected to reach 71,174.94 thousand patients by 2032, registering a CAGR of 11.8% from 2023 to 2032.
Medical tourism refers to the practice of individuals traveling to other countries for medical treatment and care. Patients often seek treatments such as elective surgeries, dental procedures, or cosmetic interventions in destinations known for their high-quality healthcare infrastructure. Patients travel to destinations with reputable healthcare facilities to receive necessary care while also exploring new places.
The major factors driving the growth of the medical tourism market are high-quality medical care at low cost, availability of highly skilled medical professionals, and integration of traditional healthcare therapies. Many countries have invested in developing their healthcare workforce, resulting in a pool of doctors, surgeons, and medical practitioners who are renowned for their expertise and experience. These medical professionals often undergo rigorous training and are frequently affiliated with globally recognized medical institutions.
The reputation of these doctors, combined with their ability to provide personalized and specialized care, draws patients from across the globe seeking treatments ranging from complex surgeries to advanced medical consultations. This kind of medical expertise, coupled with cultural sensitivity and language capabilities, ensures a high level of patient satisfaction and contributes significantly to the growth of the medical tourism market.
Further, medical tourists seek affordable care and access to innovative medical technologies, thereby driving the market growth. Internationally accredited hospitals offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, advanced diagnostic equipment, and innovative treatment modalities. The availability of advanced robotic surgery, precision medicine, and telemedicine services influence patients' decisions to travel for complex treatments. The appeal of receiving care at institutions with globally recognized medical advancements is a significant driver of medical tourism market growth.
In addition, the ease of obtaining e-medical visas has significantly facilitated the growth of medical tourism. Many countries have streamlined their visa application processes, specifically for medical travelers, enabling them to secure necessary travel documents efficiently. These e-medical visas are often processed faster than traditional visas, allowing patients to embark on their medical journeys without unnecessary delays.
Moreover, the existence of dedicated medical tourism facilitators or agencies further simplifies the visa application process and assists patients in arranging transportation, accommodations, and appointments with healthcare providers. This seamless process encourages more individuals to consider medical tourism as a viable option for their healthcare needs.
Further, integration of traditional healthcare therapies, such as Ayurveda and Yoga, with allopathic treatments has emerged as a unique driver of medical tourism growth. Many countries, particularly in Asia, offer holistic wellness packages that combine modern medical treatments with age-old traditional therapies. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, and Yoga, a practice that promotes physical & mental well-being, have gained international recognition for their holistic benefits.
Patients seeking medical interventions and a comprehensive approach to wellness are drawn to these destinations. This convergence of traditional and modern healthcare methodologies offers patients a well-rounded experience that addresses their medical concerns and their overall well-being.
Furthermore, governments of certain countries actively promote medical tourism as part of their economic development strategy. They invest in healthcare infrastructure, establish regulations, and offer incentives to attract foreign patients, contributing to the growth of the medical tourism industry.
However, traveling immediately after medical procedures increase the risk of post-operative complications. Long flights, changes in climate, and jet lag negatively impact recovery. In addition, if complications arise after returning home, medical tourists face challenges accessing follow-up care or consultations with the treating physicians. These factors deter patients from seeking medical treatment abroad, especially for procedures with extended recovery periods.
By treatment type, the market is segregated into dental treatment, cosmetic treatment, cardiovascular treatment, orthopedic treatment, neurological treatment, cancer treatment, fertility treatment, and others. The cancer treatment segment accounted for largest share in 2022, owing to rise in global prevalence of cancer, the escalating costs of cancer care in many countries, search for specialized & advanced treatment options, reduced waiting times, desire for comprehensive & holistic healthcare services, and the willingness of patients to travel for potentially life-saving treatments. The urgency and seriousness of cancer diagnoses, combined with the quest for optimal treatment outcomes, drive patients to explore medical tourism for cancer care.
However, the orthopedic treatment segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. These is attributed to factors such as rise in global prevalence of orthopedic conditions, aging population, the need for specialized surgeries such as joint replacements & spinal procedures, high costs & long waiting times for such treatments in many countries, the desire for expert orthopedic care, and the availability of world-class orthopedic facilities in medical tourism destinations. Patients are increasingly seeking timely and cost-effective solutions for orthopedic ailments, driving the growth of this segment within the medical tourism market.
Region wise, Asia-Pacific accounted for largest share in 2022 and is anticipated to witness notable growth during the forecast period, owing to factors such as cost-effective healthcare solutions, strong healthcare infrastructure with advanced facilities and highly skilled medical professionals. In addition, the availability of specialized medical procedures, shorter waiting times, and government support for medical tourism contribute to the region's growth. Moreover, Asia-Pacific's rich cultural heritage and tourist attractions provide a holistic experience for medical tourists, further fueling the market's expansion.
Key Findings of the Study
- By treatment type, the cancer treatment segment dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2022. However, the orthopedic treatment segment is expected to grow with the highest CAGR throughout the forecast period.
- Region wise, Asia-Pacific generated the largest revenue in 2022, and is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.