Medical tourism is often related to traveling abroad for the purpose of medical treatments. It has bloomed into a million dollar industry, which sees millions of patients traveling to foreign destinations for medical treatments and procedures on a regular basis. Southeast Asia in particular has been seeing an increasing influx of medical tourists from around the world.
Considered a ‘sweet spot’ in the entire industry, the region is known for its world class health care facilities, qualified medical personnel and competitively priced medical treatments, thus making it a prime spot for anyone who wants to get affordable medical care without compromising on the quality of the treatment.
Among the Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia is seen to attract the highest number of medical tourists every year. Experts in the industry attribute this to the country’s government promoting the industry on a large scale via easy and safe operations. Malaysia offers medical tourists a variety of medical treatments ranging from orthopedics to cardiology and fertility, etc. which are backed by several safety standards and accreditation standards.
There is also the lucrative prospect of exploring the beautiful country while undergoing treatment. Several hospitals have in fact, joined hands with hotels to create bundled medical tourism packages that would enable tourists to couple their treatment with a relaxing vacation in the country. When coupled with competitive healthcare costs, these factors make Malaysia one of the best and safest countries in the Southeast Asian region for medical tourists.
Malaysia is not the only country luring medical tourists to its shores. Several patients prefer to visit countries like Singapore and Thailand as well for specialized medical treatments that either cost a bomb or are not available back home. For instance, Singapore is known for its liver transplant and joint replacement procedures while Thailand is famous for sex changes. Together with Malaysia, these countries alone contribute over US$3 billion to the region’s medical tourism business.
Many private sector companies in these countries have also started capitalizing on their advantages and using the same to lure medical tourists with attractive healthcare and travel packages bundled into one. This in turn, has led to more medical tourists visiting the Southeast Asian region for the high quality medical care and travel options promised by these companies.
A lot of Southeast Asian countries have also joined hands with each other via regional economic collaborations like the Asia Pacific Economic Community and the ASEAN Free Trade Area to support each other’s economies in the process of pitching themselves as a lucrative production bases for the world market. This move would lead to a region wide integration as countries open more healthcare markets to enjoy the economic gains promised by the medical tourism industry.
The medical tourism industry has been seeing a surge in many countries around the world, including Southeast Asia. Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are experiencing an increased influx of medical tourists.