Medical Tourism: Facts and Figures

Medical tourism, contrary to the general perspective, is not a modern medical recourse. The first instances of medical tourism have been recorded back to when Greek pilgrims travelled across the Mediterranean to a small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. Now, over thousands of years later, it is slowly become the favored option, thanks to the low prices, medical expertise and professionalism of hospitals abroad, coupled with the ease of access and transport.


According to a 2014 MTI survey, Canada was ranked highest for "Country Environment" and "Medical Tourism Costs" while Costa Rica and Jamaica were ranked at the top for "Destination Attractiveness". Israel and Singapore topped the polls for "Medical Facility and Service” with the countries raking in 84.6 and 78.2 points out of 100 respectively on the survey.


To highlight conclusions one can draw from the results of a survey conducted by BMC Health Services in September 2010 and a MTA survey conducted in 2009:-

Medical Tourism Statistics

Some of the top specialties for medical travelers include dentistry, cosmetic surgery, cancer treatment, reproductive surgery and orthopedics.

  1. Treatments- Over 30%, (33% according to the 2009 MTA survey) patients travel worldwide for medical treatment specifically pertaining to cosmetic surgery, such as liposuction, face lift, breast surgery etc.
  2. Motivation- The primary factor found to motivate patients to turn to treatment abroad was the low cost involved, while the second factor was the particular treatment required not being available in the patient’s home country. The hassle of travelling abroad was not an important factor to demotivate patients, mainly due to ease of access via the internet, but also due to help from tourism agencies.
  3. Risks- Most patients surveyed were most wary of contracting infection while abroad while others felt post-operative travel would be daunting.  
  4. General Experience- Mostly, the patients reported of being satisfied of the care and treatment they received; 100% of the patients surveyed chose “yes” when asked whether they would consider going abroad for treatment again and whether the would recommend medical tourism to a friend (MTA 2009).
  5. Medical Experience- 67% of patients surveyed considered the service provided abroad “excellent” while 33% opted for “very good”; no patient chose the options “average”, “poor” or “below average”. 100% of the patients surveyed agreed to the medical service provided abroad as being more personalized than in USA (MTA 2009).


Catering to an ever-increasing market base, medical tourism has emerged as an extremely popular choice amongst patients willing to go the extra mile in search of better facilities at quality, value-for-money rates.

The primary aim of every associate in the multimillion nexus that is medical tourism is setting up a global network that defies national boundaries, so as to provide the best and at the same time, the most economical treatment available from across the world and to ensure there are no hiccups along the way.


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