India ranks among top 3 medical tourism destinations in Asia

India is placed among the top three medical tourism destinations in Asia, mainly due to the low cost of treatment, quality healthcare infrastructure and availability of highly-skilled doctors, says a study.

India ranks among top 3 medical tourism destinations in Asia

“Within Asia, India, Thailand and Singapore are the three countries that receive maximum medical tourists owing to low cost of treatment, quality healthcare infrastructure, and availability of highly-skilled doctors.

“These three countries together accounted for about 60 per cent of the total Asian revenue in 2012,” the report Medical Value Travel in India by KPMG and Ficci said.

The research was conducted in India and other Asian countries and interviewed public sector stakeholders and domestic company heads or CEOs of renowned hospitals between July and August 2014. Estimated at $78.6 billion as of 2012, the sector has emerged as one of the largest sectors in India and is poised to grow at an annual rate of 15 per cent to reach about USD 158.2 billion by 2017, it said. It pointed out that Asian countries have introduced various marketing strategies to attract medical tourists.

In the past few years, Asia has taken the lead as one of the most preferred destination for medical value travel. Primary growth levers in this regard include low priced treatment options, availability of variety of treatments, improved infrastructure in terms of healthcare facilities and attractive locations for spending time after treatment. While Thailand positions itself as a dual purpose destination for both medical and economic holiday with an attractive location, Singapore promotes itself as a destination for fine quality in medical treatment.

India is known mostly for its cost-effective medical treatments along with high standards in cardiology, orthopaedics, nephrology, oncology and neuro surgery, it said.

The country is also known for its alternative treatment options such as yoga and ayurveda, it said.

Source: The Times of India

Developing Global medical tourism destination Dubai

UAE-headquartered hospitality company, TIME Hotels Management, has announced the latest in a series of property management contract deals with the signing of a new five-star hotel located just a few minutes from the city’s medical services hub – Dubai Healthcare City.

Developing Global medical tourism destination Dubai and TIME Hotel Management

Part of the group’s ambitious regional development programme, the latest announcement comes hot on the heels of news of its first Egypt resort property in the popular Red Sea tourist destination of Sahl Hasheesh, close to Hurghada.

The 277-room TIME Royal Hotel will occupy a prime position off the Sheikh Rashid Road with easy access to popular luxury retail hub, Wafi Mall, and a 10-minute drive from Dubai International Airport.

Under development by Awtad Investment Company the AED200 million hotel is set to open in 2016 and will offer guests a choice of two restaurants, a coffee shop, fully-equipped gymnasium, swimming pool, spa and 684-square metres of state-of-the-art meeting space.

“The new Wafi location will complement our existing properties which are located at opposite ends of the city in Barsha/TECOM and Al Qusais, and will also add much-needed room stock to the Oud Metha area which is home to Dubai Healthcare City,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.

“Dubai plans to position the emirate as a global medical tourism destination by 2020 with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) targeting 500,000 medical tourists with expected revenues of AED2.6 billion. To support this ambitious strategy it is imperative that Oud Metha’s hospitality capacity is enhanced as the area is currently underserviced in terms of hotel rooms,” he added.

The DHA is targeting a broad spectrum of treatment-seeking visitors including nationals from the GCC countries and South Asian medical tourists, which, according to Awadalla, is a fit with TIME Hotels’ own sales and marketing strategy.

“We will also add more value to the market with two rooms per floor at our new Wafi property specifically designed to be handicap-accessible; which is a first for the city and a unique selling point for the promotion of Dubai as a leading destination for medical tourism,” he said.

The hotel will also be wheelchair friendly with ramps sited throughout its major public areas and with adapted elevator access.

TIME Royal Hotel’s convenient location along one of the city’s main thoroughfares also makes it a good option for guests needing to be within a short drive of the embassies district, Dubai’s financial hub and major leisure attractions such as Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the historic Dubai Creek.

“The addition of Wafi will boost our collection of UAE hotels and hotel apartments to eight properties, and with a pipeline of five further properties in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Egypt, we are on target to reach our goal of 13 properties by 2016,” remarked Awadalla.

Source: etn

India to be No 1 for growth in wellness tourism by 2019: Study


India could be number one for growth globally in the wellness tourism sector in the next five years, clocking over 20 per cent gains annually through 2017, according to a recent study.

Wellness tourism is a $439 billion industry worldwide within the $3.2 trillion global tourism industry, representing 14 per cent of all tourism spending, it said. The study conducted by SRI international projected India to be number one globally for growth in wellness tourism over the next five years, clocking over 20 per cent gain annually through 2017.

Wellness tourism is travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities. The study predicted that India’s total wellness market to surpass $18 billion in the next four years. Luxury Wellness Tourism segment is estimated to grow nearly 50 per cent faster than global tourism by 2017, it was reported on the sidelines of a three-day exhibition ‘Royal India Wellness 2014’ which concluded on Friday.

SRI International is a US-based nonprofit, independent research and innovation centre serving government and industry. “India has wealth of knowledge and medical systems to treat people and maintain their health through natural means and therapies,” said Paras Shahdadpuri, President of Indian Business and Professionals Council.

“India must come forward and give its gift of naturopathy to the mankind. It has a hidden treasure which should be discovered,” he said at the exhibition. “Unfortunately, we got used to quick fix through allopathy which treats only the manifestations rather than the cause,” he said.

The exhibition on Indian wellness brands with their packages on rejuvenation, holistic healing and prevention and reversal of lifestyle diseases was organised to reach out to the health conscious people.

Source; IBN

Indian doctors come home to medical tourism hub

india medical tourism

One of the multitude of Indian emigrant doctors, Paul Ramesh moved to Britain in the 1990s, keen to get the best surgical training and earn a generous pay packet.

Today he is still treating Westerners ? but in hospital beds back in Chennai, his south Indian hometown in Tamil Nadu state.

“When I came back it was quite exceptional to return. Now it’s the rule,” the 46-year-old told AFP at the city’s Apollo hospital, soon after performing a heart transplant on a woman from the United States.

In Chennai, known as India’s health care capital, medical workers describe a “reverse brain drain” as homegrown doctors return from the U.S. and Europe ? at the same time as the city develops as a top budget destination for medical tourists.

While the number of Indian doctors abroad remains substantial, Apollo staff say their national hospital chain now gets 300 applications annually from those working in Britain alone, encouraged by improved living standards and better medical technology at home.

Traditionally drawn to the West to boost their expertise and earnings, doctors also cited tightening salaries under Britain’s National Health Service and increasingly tough U.S. health care regulations as factors luring them back.

“The trend is reversing,” said M. Balasubramanian, president of the Indian Medical Association in Tamil Nadu.

“More corporate hospitals are coming up, especially in Chennai. Now (doctors) have an opportunity to use their expertise in their own place … and pull the patients from abroad also,” he said.

Inside the Apollo, with a lobby bustling more like a marketplace than a typical hospital, K.P. Kosygan has just carried out a double knee replacement on an elderly Kenyan patient.

The consultant orthopedic surgeon came back from Britain in 2011 and said there was “a regular stream of doctors coming back.”

“Certainly when I left India there were not many joint replacement centers or surgeons in India who could train us,” he said.

Now doctors want to “share our experience we have gained across the globe,” he said ? adding that many were also pulled back to look after aging parents, in a country where family ties are paramount.

As well as treating Indians, Kosygan said he now treats patients “from almost every corner of the world” who are drawn by the cheap costs.

Patients Beyond Borders, a U.S. medical travel resource, says the cost of certain Indian medical procedures can be up to 90 percent lower than in the United States, making it one of the cheapest places for treatment.

While most patients come to India from the Middle East, Africa and other parts of Asia, interest from America is growing, said Patients Beyond Borders CEO Josef Woodman.

“On a heart operation they can save $50,000 to $70,000,” he said.

Among those to make such a saving was Doug Stoda, who traveled to Chennai from the United States for a specialized hip procedure by an Indian surgeon who learned the technique in Britain.

Stoda’s wife Ann said it was a “big deal” for them to travel to India, having never previously been outside North America, but she said they had “a very good experience.”

“We just had to get to the airport in Chennai and they had everything set up,” she told AFP by telephone from their home in Wisconsin.

At Apollo, a dedicated “international patients” area has clocks on the wall showing times in various cities including New York and Tokyo while various translators are present to deal with foreign arrivals, who number about 70,000 a year, the hospital says.

Countrywide, the medical tourism industry is expected to see a more than 20 percent annual growth rate between 2013 and 2015, according to global consultancy firm RNCOS.

Many patients come from countries “where they do really require quality expertise at a more affordable price,” said Anto Sahayaraj, 42, who returned from New Zealand in 2012 to work at the Frontier Lifeline Hospital in Chennai.

Speaking to AFP after performing a heart procedure on a 1-month-old baby from Bahrain, the specialist in pediatric cardiac surgery said foreign patients were encouraged by Indian doctors’ overseas experience.

“They see a lot of Indians in Western countries and they realize that some of us do come back. With us technology comes back, so they have increasing confidence.”

For all India’s advances on the global stage, doctors emphasized ways in which the country’s health care system is still sorely lagging.

N. Ragavan, a consultant uro-oncologist specializing in prostate cancer, returned to India from Britain last year and pointed out the “million-dollar difference” between the two countries.

While Britain enjoys universal health care coverage, many Indians struggle to pay for quality private treatment, while public services are poorly funded and governed.

“Financial affordability is the biggest problem that India faces,” said Ragavan, 41, who hopes the country’s low health insurance cover will grow substantially over the next decade.

He said the benefits of working in one of India’s corporate hospitals include speedy medical investigations and hardly any waiting lists, but the lack of working directives means he is now at the hospital for up to 17-hour days.

Source: korean herald

Dubai to be world medical tourism hub


DHA meets with all stakeholders to discuss turning proposal into reality
With world-class health facilities and internationally accredited hospitals, Dubai is all set to be the top hub for world medical tourism.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) convened a meeting earlier this week with all stakeholders in the medical tourism initiative to tap into the possibility of turning this proposal into reality.

The meeting was organised under the leadership of Director General of DHA, Engineer Eisa Al Maidour, with representatives of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDFRA), Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Department of Economic Development (DED), Emirates airline, Emirates Holidays and Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), among others.

“We look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure we devise a comprehensive system that provides patients with convenience from the time they enter Dubai right through treatment and even follow-up. Dubai is the world’s leading destination for tourism and leisure and since Dubai offers excellent health-care facilities, medical tourism is an extension of the hospitality that Dubai is synonymous with. Ensuring that all players work hand-in-hand with us and are aligned with the overall medical tourism strategy will ensure smooth functioning of a dynastic health sector and will benefit both medical tourists as well as the health-care providers,” he said.

According to DTCM statistics, the city had a record number of visitors — 10 million — in 2012 and aims to have more than 20 million visitors by 2020. If medical tourism is properly organised it can become a viable source of revenue. If we go by the global medical tourism revenues these are estimated at $30 million (Dh109.80 million) and are expected to only grow by leaps and bounds. Dubai can perhaps be a major contributor to this world-wide phenomenon if all stakeholders work according to a plan. Currently the total number of health facilities in Dubai are 2,518 and more than 70 per cent of hospitals here have international accreditations.

All these figures work in favour of world medical tourists coming here for complex treatments.

Dr Ramadan Ebrahim, director of medical regulation and medical tourism programme at DHA, said that he would be working closely with hospitals to ensure that they fulfil the medical tourism eligibility criteria. “Hospitals will be asked to chalk out medical tourism packages. The package will include treatment, visa, hotel accommodation as well as recreational activities for families who accompany the patient.

“The first package will be launched in October this year and will be wellness and preventive services package. This includes executive full body check-ups etc. In addition to medical facilities, we will also evaluate health-care facilities on the basis of the comfort and ease they provide patients. This includes checking whether they have translators, chauffer services, etc, which will all be part of the medical tourism package. At the end of the day, it’s about providing both excellence in medical service.”

Dr Ebrahim also added that the Dubai medical tourism website will be launched by the last quarter of this year — all member details and hyperlinks will be on the comprehensive site.

Source: gulf news

Executive council nod for Dubai medical tourism plan

The DEC members discussed the plan to transform Dubai into a global hub for health tourism as proposed by the Dubai Health Authority.

The Dubai Executive Council (DEC) on Wednesday approved a plan to implement the strategy to turn Dubai into a world hub for medical tourism.

A meeting of the council chaired by Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, also discussed a proposal to invest wisely the plots of land set aside for housing with the aim of earning sustainable profits to support the housing projects in the emirate and to give a backup to the government.

The DEC members discussed the plan to transform Dubai into a global hub for health tourism as proposed by the Dubai Health Authority. According to the plan, Dubai would provide selected, distinctive and quality health services at competitive prices which would attract tourists visiting the emirate.

The plan aims to build a system which would boost excellence in the field of healthcare, which would attract people willing to get curative services to the emirate of Dubai.

The Dubai Health Authority has laid down a comprehensive strategy to achieve a number of investment targets in health tourism in six medical areas of specialisation, including dentistry, plastic surgery, ophthalmic surgery, general medical checkups, orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, in addition to recuperation and healing from skin diseases.

The executive plan has been developed to include four main pillars: competition and prioritisation; Dubai’s global status; increasing the number of tourists and medical revenues through delivery of high-quality medical services; and achieving medical sustainability.

The other proposals and projects discussed during the meeting included the investment of land allocated for housing to achieve a sustainable income to support housing projects and government’s support for these projects and providing sites for the delivery of public services near residential complexes that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Housing Establishment has embarked on constructing.

Source: Khaleej Times

Medical tourism on the rise despite warnings

A new breed of tourist is taking the post-holiday glow to a new level and booking in for cosmetic surgery abroad.

No official statistics are available on the number of Australians leaving the country for surgery, but Patients Beyond Borders, which publishes guides for such tourists, estimates that globally about 8 million patients go overseas for medical care – and that figure is growing about 15 to 25 per cent a year.

The announcement by private health insurer NIB to provide overseas surgical packages has reignited the debate which pits cut-priced procedures against the concern of many Australian medical professionals who warn against the practice.

Medical tourism operators co-ordinate travel, accommodation and medical care for clients. For those travelling alone, escorted groups can be organised.

The director of Medi Makeovers, Daniela Pratico, says the company works with a team of GPs and surgeons in Australia to eliminate some of the most common complications.

“There are only three factors that affect medical tourists – cost, availability and quality,” Pratico says. “Price is very obvious. There are no waiting lists in Thailand for patients, and the quality of the procedures and service are very high.”
She adds that patients can save 70 per cent on some procedures.
But reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon Mark Edinburg of the Eden Institute says that while the cost may appear lower, this isn’t always the case.

“We are frequently required to rectify cosmetic tourism surgery, which means that the initial planned costs are considerably higher to rectify the issue and can sometimes increase up to three or fourfold.”

Melissa Dever is unhappy with the results of her overseas surgery. After losing 55 kilograms, she wanted surgery to remove excess skin. So she travelled to Malaysia for a tummy tuck, breast lift and liposuction on her arms and thighs.

She says the facilities and medical care were on par with those in Australia but a “dog-ear” flap of skin on her breast has been left uncorrected, despite a “satisfaction guarantee” she assumed she was eligible for.

“I’m still happy with the overall look and would still recommend people investigate foreign options for surgery.

“Anyone considering it should ask lots of questions and also certainly research any guarantee policy,” she says.

While Ms Dever’s complications were minor, some aren’t so lucky. Dr Edinburg says: “I’ve seen patients who have returned from overseas with breast implants placed at different levels, asymmetries, poor face lifting results and wound ruptures.”

“We are then left to improve the result which, at times, is not possible because of poor planning, poor placement of incision lines, the wrong implant type or position of insertion of the implants.”

It’s not all bad news though. When Erin Williams’ quote for plastic surgery came in at more than $50,000, she researched overseas options before on the Philippines for the tummy tuck, arm lift, butt lift, thigh lift and corrective breast surgery. Despite the pain from surgery, for her the experience was treated as a holiday. “After a week of tolerable yet unpleasant pain, I was up to going out and doing a little bit of shopping. By the end of my fourth week in Manila, I was still impressively swollen but feeling fit, healthy and great.

“My time in Manila was absolutely magnificent. I had a brilliant holiday and will look back on this experience with fondness for the rest of my life.”
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons advises Australians contemplating going overseas for surgery to research their surgeon and qualifications thoroughly, suggesting a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is best suited.
The society also encourages patients to research the person promoting the surgery to see if they are medically trained and accept liability – or will provide help if problems arise.

Travel agents or brokers are considered high risk and extra questions should be asked on who will do the surgery.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

New method makes stem cells in about 30 minutes, scientists report

In a feat that experts say is a significant advance for regenerative medicine, scientists have discovered a surprisingly simple method for creating personalized stem cells that doesn’t involve human embryos or tinkering with DNA.

Two studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature describe a novel procedure for “reprogramming” the blood cells of newborn mice by soaking the cells in a mildly acidic solution for 30 minutes. This near-fatal shock caused the cells to become pluripotent, or capable of growing into any type of cell in the body.

When the reprogrammed cells were tagged and injected into a developing mouse, they multiplied and grew into heart, bone, brain and other organs, the scientists found.
“It was really surprising to see that such a remarkable transformation could be triggered simply by stimuli from outside of the cell,” said lead study author Haruko Obokata, a biochemistry researcher at the RIKEN research institute in Japan. “Very surprising.”

The simplicity of the technique, which Obokata and her colleagues dubbed stimulus triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP, caught many experts off-guard.
“So you mistreat cells under the right conditions and they assume a different state of differentiation? It’s remarkable,” said Rudolf Jaenisch, a pioneering stem cell researcher at MIT who was not involved in the study. “Let’s see whether it works in human cells, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.”

Obokata said that researchers had already begun experiments on human cells, but offered no details.

Due to their Zelig-like ability to form any number of specialized cells, pluripotent stem cells are considered the basic building blocks of biology. Scientists are working on ways to use them to repair severed spinal cords, replace diseased organs, and treat conditions as varied as diabetes, blindness and muscular dystrophy.

By using stem cells spawned from the patient’s own cells, replacement tissues would stand less of a chance of being attacked by the patient’s own immune system, researchers say. That would spare patients the need to undergo a lifetime regimen of dangerous, immune-suppressing drugs.

But progress toward these lofty goals has been slow, due in part to the challenges of current stem cell production methods. The practice of harvesting stem cells from human embryos makes many people uncomfortable, and some religious groups have pressed for limits or bans on their use. Even scientists who want to study them say they may not be practical for medical therapies because they could be rejected by a patient’s body.

Another approach is to rewind a patient’s own mature cells to a pluripotent state. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, the first person to make these induced pluripotent stem cells, won a Nobel Prize for this work in 2012. However, the reprogramming process converts only about 1% of the cells into iPS cells, and questions remain about their long-term stability and safety.

The STAP method presents a simpler, cheaper and faster method of producing stem cells, said Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine bioprocessing at University College London.

“How much easier can it possibly get,” Mason told the Science Media Centre, an English organization that promotes scientific understanding on controversial subjects.
“If it works in man, this could be the game changer that ultimately makes a wide range of cell therapies available using the patient’s own cells as starting material,” he said. “The age of personalized medicine would have finally arrived.”

The STAP approach was inspired by observations of plant cells that changed character when they were exposed to environmental stress, according to the research team from RIKEN and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Obokata and her colleagues set about “stressing” mouse blood cells in a variety of ways to see if they would change. They exposed them to heat, deprived them of nutrition and repeatedly poured them through narrow glass pipes.

The method they ultimately published involved placing the cells in an acid solution for 30 minutes and then spinning them in a centrifuge for five minutes. The process converted 7% to 9% of the original cells into STAP cells, Obokata said.

To see whether the cells had been reprogrammed, researchers engineered the mice with a gene that would cause their cells to glow a fluorescent green under ultraviolet light if they became pluripotent. After torturing the blood cells, they began to glow after three days and appeared to peak at seven days, suggesting that they had become pluripotent in just a week’s time. The researchers bolstered the cells’ ability to proliferate by treating them with hormones and an immune cell secretion called leukemia inhibitory factor.

To fully prove that they had become pluripotent, the STAP cells were injected into normal mouse embryos. The resulting offspring, called a chimera, were a mix of regular cells and glowing STAP cells.

Andrew McMahon, director of USC’s Eli and Edyth Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine, said the creation of a chimera was critical to proving that blood cells had changed in a fundamental way.

“That’s the most rigorous [test] you could possibly do,” said McMahon, who was not involved in the study. It shows that the STAP cells can make every type of cell in the embryo and that they “can organize in a normal-looking way, so that what comes out is a normal looking fetus.”

McMahon said the study was also surprising in that it showed that mature cells could be reprogrammed without having to divide.

“That’s why the change is so rapid, because the cells don’t have to undergo division for this to occur,” he said. “It’s a really interesting and novel finding.”

Yamanaka, who was not involved in the STAP study, said the research would undoubtedly help scientists understand the basic biology of cellular reprogramming.

“The findings are important,” said Yamanaka, who directs Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research.

The reasons why stress causes cells to drastically alter their function remains a mystery, Obokata and her colleagues said.

She declined to say whether the researchers were seeking a patent on the STAP procedure.

Source: latimes

41,838 Canadians became medical tourists in 2013

One of the unfortunate realities of Canada’s monopolistic health-care system is that some people feel they have no choice but to seek the care they need outside the country.

Faced with waits for treatment that are often months long (sometimes stretching over a year), it should come as little surprise that many Canadians ultimately choose to be medical tourists. The question of course, is how many?

While data on exactly how many patients seek treatment abroad are not readily available, it is possible to estimate this number using data from the Fraser Institute’s annual waiting list survey and from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The Fraser Institute’s annual waiting list survey asks physicians in 12 major medical specialties what percentage of their patients received non-emergency medical treatment outside Canada in the past year. In 2013, averaged across all medical specialties, almost 1 per cent of patients in Canada were estimated to have done so, the same as in 2012.

Putting these numbers together with data on the number of procedures performed in Canada from the Canadian Institute for Health Information reveals that a conservatively estimated 41,838 Canadians received treatment outside the country in 2013.

Interestingly, this year’s estimate is a slight decrease from the 2012 estimate of 42,173. At the same time, the wait time from specialist consultation to treatment in Canada increased from 9.3 weeks in 2012 to 9.6 weeks in 2013.

Among the provinces, the estimated number of patients going outside Canada for treatment increased in Manitoba (1,636 this year vs. 1,435 last year), Ontario (19,118 vs. 15,725), and Nova Scotia (927 vs. 858). The figure was roughly the same for B.C. (8,146 vs. 8,132). On the other hand, the number fell in Alberta (5,527 vs. 6,661), Saskatchewan (714 vs. 1,380), Quebec (4,904 vs. 6,308), New Brunswick (372 vs. 997), P.E.I. (8 vs. 28), and Newfoundland (486 vs. 649).

Among the 12 medical specialties, the largest numbers of patients receiving care outside Canada were estimated for urology (6,635), general surgery (5,537), and ophthalmology (3,083). Patients were less likely to be receiving cardiovascular surgeries (114), radiation treatment for cancer (127), and chemotherapy for cancer (249) in another country.

Those numbers are not insubstantial. They point to a sizable number of Canadians whose needs and health care demands could not be satisfied in Canada. They also point to a large market of patients that might choose to remain in Canada (and in their home province) if only they had that option. One can only wonder how many more would have liked to join them, but couldn’t afford the travel on top of the privately funded care.

There are a number of possible reasons why Canadians ultimately received the care they required outside of the country. Some may have been sent abroad by the public health care system because of a lack of available resources or the fact that some procedures or equipment are not provided in their home jurisdiction. Others may have left in response to concerns about quality, seeking out more advanced health care facilities, higher tech medicine, or better outcomes. Others may have fled Canadian health care in order to avoid some of the consequences of waiting for care such as worsening of their condition, poorer outcomes following treatment, disability or death. And some may have done so simply to avoid delay and to make a quicker return to their life.

That a considerable number of Canadians travelled and paid to escape the well-known failings of the Canadian health care system speaks volumes about how well the system is working for them. It leaves open the question of just how many more Canadians might choose medical tourism outside Canada if given the opportunity.

Nadeem Esmail is director of health policy studies at the Fraser Institute. Bacchus Barua is a Fraser Institute senior economist.

Source: the spec

South Korea: Fastest Growing Medical Tourism Market in Asia

The medical tourism industry of South Korea has been growing at a fast pace from past few years. Global reputation of Korea in plastic surgery attracts foreigners, as it provides them better treatment at low cost. Korean doctors have got the required expertise and skills in various surgical procedures, such as aesthetic and cosmetic treatments, thereby, boosting country’s worldwide reputation.

Apart from the skilled medical workforce, another factor which helps Korean medical tourism to prosper is technologically advanced treatments and medical procedures. Moreover, areas like biotechnology and stem cell research are considered as core competency of the country and with rising government investments in the sector, the country is poised to become a leading player in medical technologies and treatments. The country is further backed by strong government support and initiatives, which is also boosting the growth and development of Korean medical tourism.

Thus, supported by the factors, such as cost-efficacy, high level promotion by the authorities, and good healthcare infrastructure, the number of medical tourists is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of more than 52% during 2013-2015, which is the fastest growth rate among all Asian nations, says “Asian Medical Tourism Market Forecast to 2015”, a recent report by RNCOS.

Apart from South Korea, we have also analyzed medical tourism market of other major countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. Our comprehensive report provides detailed analysis and future forecast for the medical tourism market, and medical tourist arrivals till 2015 in these Asian countries. Our report has also provided a brief overview of the drivers and trends prevailing in the Asian medical tourism industry. We have also included the prominent industry players such as Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Bumrungrad International Hospital, and so on, to provide a balanced research outlook of the industry. Overall, the report is designed to facilitate our clients towards devising the rightful strategies, and make sound investment decisions.
Source: SB wire