The prime exigencies that humankind faces are anomalies in physiology and the physical body. This happens for various reasons, which could be genetic, lifestyle, accidents, and old age. Health is thus the primary concern of every human being. But, interestingly, scientists decoding puzzles that diseases leave in their wake are not overawed by the diseases; they are more impressed by how the body remains healthy and functional.
Yes, sound health is a puzzle, and to maintain it, we follow diverse routes. Some people regularly exercise in the gym or in the privacy of their house. Some follow Yoga and meditation while others keep to strict diets and alternative cures. There is no limit for a person to follow wellness routes and live long. But when it comes to a disease attack, minor or major, it becomes a cause for concern.
The allopathic system of medicine is widely prevalent, and almost all of the institutions that have been established for well-being deal in it. Palliative therapies and surgical procedures carried out in well-equipped hospitals and clinics are subject to patients arriving with hope. Not only citizens, but as a matter-of-fact, overseas visitors also seek treatment in foreign hospitals and clinics.
There are many reasons why patients seek medical treatments overseas. Cost and quality are primary reasons for treatment abroad, and patients look for both. In some contexts, the treatment is unique or highly advanced, as in cancer therapy and surgery. In other cases, the cost is prohibitive or the waiting period for treatment so long that patients have no choice but to choose an economical destination.
There are several reasons mentioned here that drive people to seek health solutions abroad. But both the cost difference and quality should be substantial; else, medical travel benefits will not accrue to that country.
Health tourism depends much on the factors described above, but the wellness infrastructure is also important.
Travel-related VISA policy should be available in a short time. It is the overall picture that encourages travel for health.
This activity has an added advantage as well; it is the experience of beautiful destinations. Perhaps sightseeing and the thrill of wildlife watching must be accelerating recoveries. For this reason alone, people may arrive at a chosen destination. But the visit could also be for facilitating a long-planned journey along with treatment. Outbound well-being tourism also accrues due to the long waiting list in one’s own country.
Top Ten Medical Tourism Destinations
Some of the destinations popular with health treatment seekers are:
• Costa Rica
• Abu Dhabi
The destinations mentioned here are popular for quality and efficacy. They are well known for the top of the rung infrastructure that they have built over several years. Countries like India benefit the most when cost and quality are considered, but we must also consider it a beautiful destination full of travel potential. Comparatively, some other countries are relatively less costly, which could be the reason for attracting tourists to their hospitals. But these countries assure quality and efficacy besides good infrastructure as well. Other countries visited for well-being care services are the USA, Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Medical Tourism in Figures
Globally this activity consists of around 16 million patients seeking treatments away from their homes, and this is substantial, and the figure is certain to grow post-pandemic. The market size is approximately 72 billion USD as of today.
In Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey, the cost-saving is around 60% on procedures and treatments. This figure is arrived at using the cost in the USA as a benchmark. Singapore is at the higher end, with the cost-saving being not more than 45 %.
In India, which is full of sightseeing potential, it provides low-cost treatment without sacrificing quality -the savings can go up to 90 %. This is the winning factor for the Nation, and there is great optimism that the figures would rise exponentially post-pandemic.
Thanks to the immense health care system, sound infrastructure, and tourism potential, the future augurs bright.
The manpower is high in terms of skilled doctors and surgeons trained in many medical colleges and institutions besides foreign universities. The country also attracts tourists seeking alternative health care practices like Ayurveda and Yoga to enhance its potential as a foreign exchange earner.