The recently released 2016 Medical Tourism Index (MTI) reveals high levels of growth for the medical tourism industry. The MTI lists the top 41 destinations across the globe for patients seeking value-added services and high quality of healthcare. The United States leads in regards to healthcare travel spending and market share.
Asia also stands out with famous destinations like Thailand, Singapore and South Korea. Both studies show that China will take the number one spot within 10 years because of their aging populations demand for higher quality healthcare.
The authors of the MTI - Rene-Marie Stephano, JD President of the Medical Tourism Association and Marc Fetscherin, Associate Professor of International Business and Marketing at Rollins College - note that this is a positive step forward for medical tourism.
These studies provide evidence and validation to an industry where numbers were difficult to obtain. With solid figures, investors can see real opportunity in investing in healthcare infrastructure that will benefit the locals and the medical tourists.
Human resources professionals - or anyone else whose job it is to worry about rising healthcare costs - will benefit from growth in medical tourism. Companies like Lowes and Walmart have bundled-payment agreements with hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic that allow these employers to send their workers to receive treatment at a pre-arranged price.
These benefit both the employer and the hospital; the employer can ensure their patients can get healthy and return to work quickly at a price that employers can plan for while the hospital receives a steady stream of patients.
How the industry responds to this growth will be a topic of discussion at the 9th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress - a conference fully integrated with the 8th Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress - taking place September 25 - 28th in Washington D.C. Ensuring the industry is ready for this influx of patients will be essential to the continued growth of the industry.