New research on the medical tourism market indicates that annual double digit growth is set to continue through the next seven years.

According to a study by Allied Market Research entitled, “Medical Tourism Market: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2019–2027”, the global medical tourism market was pegged at US$104.68bn (€86.13bn) in 2019 and is anticipated to reach US$273.72bn (€225.20bn) by 2027, registering a CAGR of 12.8% from 2020 to 2027.

The growth of the global medical tourism market is primarily driven by affordability and accessibility of quality healthcare services along with assistance from tourism departments and local governments. In addition, the availability of the latest medical technologies in medical tourism hubs across the globe is expected to fuel market growth. However, lengthy, partial reimbursement by payers and difficulties associated with travel, language barriers, availability of documentation, and VISA approval issues act as key restraints of the global market. Conversely, a wider hospital network under insurance coverage for cashless transactions is expected to serve as a remunerative opportunity for the expansion of the global medical tourism market during the period.

Covid-19 scenario

The global medical tourism industry has been through an unprecedented disruption during the Covid-19 outbreak, which resulted in uncertainty in demand for various medical products and industrial applications.

Prolonged lockdown, on the other hand, disrupted the supply chain, which affected manufacturing processes as well as creating shortage of raw materials.

China and India, which are amongst the major medical tourism destinations have undergone adverse impact due to the Covid-19 outbreak and country-wide lockdown. Also, travel restrictions and postponement of cross-border travels further affected the medical tourism market.

Government bodies, however, are now beginning to loosen up regulations, which may assist the industry to recoup soon.

Based on technology, the cancer treatment segment accounted for the largest share in 2019, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the global medical tourism market. This is attributed to an increase in the number of cross-border travellers seeking quality cancer treatment and reduced costs in different countries. On the other hand, the orthopaedic treatment segment is projected to register the highest CAGR (14.8%) during the forecast period. Orthopaedic treatment is one of the most widely performed services globally, a simple factor driving the growth of the segment.

Based on region, the global medical tourism market across Asia-Pacific dominated in 2019, accounting for more than one-third of the market. Furthermore, the region is also anticipated to manifest the highest CAGR – of 13.6% during the forecast period. This is owing to the availability of quality care at relatively low treatment cost, inexpensive flights, and an increase in marketing & online consumer information about the accessibility of medical services. At the same time, the market across North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% during the forecast period.

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