Travelling overseas in search of increased health and well-being is not a new phenomenon. Beginning in the 18th century, wealthy patients from developing countries travelled to medical centers in Europe and the U.S. for medical treatment. This trend began to reverse in the late 20th and increased significantly in the 21th century by means of the globalization of communication and transportation technologies where less wealthy people from developed countries started to travel to developing countries for medical services. Today, estimates of the size of the Medical Tourism industry span a wide range, but it is valued at somewhere around $100 billion. Despite this notable market size and growth, as well as the increasing number of countries promoting and branding themselves as medical tourist destinations or their underlying cities or medical facilities, there is a lack of a domain‐specific and statistically sound measurement.

The Medical Tourism Index™ (MTI) is a new type of country-based performance measure to assess the attractiveness of a country as a medical tourist destination.

The development of the MTI was a multi‐year, multi-step, multi-stakeholder approach. We followed a rigorous 8-step, methodological, statistical and index construction procedure to develop this psychometric sound measurement. The MTI is a multi-dimensional construct consisting of three main dimensions (country, industry and medical facility and personal) with 34 underlying indicators. It is the first index helping countries, public policymakers, healthcare and tourism industry, place marketers and underlying organizations and people to have an assessment of their place as a medical tourism destination.

The MTI is the worldwide reference point on the attractiveness of countries as medical tourism destinations, rating and analyzing the state of a country as a medical tourism destination, how it is positioned and should be positioned to increase the prosperity of its population. The MTI will be published for the first time in 2014 and considers 30 countries and compared 25 of them on a basis of 34 criteria. It is based on opinion survey. In order to add value, in our ‘data tool’ section users are able to compare our MTI values to a series of secondary data such as population, GDP per capita, Global Competitiveness Index, Consumer Expenditure on Hospital Services just to mention a few to discover new findings.

The MTI helps the various stakeholders:
Government: To benchmark and identifying strategies and policies to improve the country’s medical tourism industry. Determine investment decisions, positioning, infrastructure investments and overall country efforts in medical tourism related aspects.

Healthcare providers and insurances: Identify most attractive destinations by different consumer segments.

Travel industry: Understand the current positioning of countries as medical tourism destination by various customer segments. Helps to identify the most suitable countries as medical tourism destination. To provide valuable information to airlines, hotels, travel agents of which are the most important medical tourism destinations in order to support medical tourism by adapting their products and services to capture part of the value chain.

Hospitals: Help them to position their hospital in a current country environment and focus on their shortcomings.

Academics: Professors and students can use our data to analyze the complex mechanism of medical tourism.